ECONOMY

Eurobank, Alpha hit with ratings downgrade by S&P

Two leading Greek banks, Eurobank and Alpha, have had their credit ratings downgraded by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s. The ratings agency also put Greece’s biggest lender, National Bank, and fifth largest, Piraeus Bank, under negative watch. The latest move by the ratings agency followed its downgrade late Wednesday of Greece’s sovereign credit despite pledges by the government to tackle a huge national debt and a gaping public deficit. In a statement detailing the downgrading of the banks, Standard and Poor’s said: «These institutions are exposed to the current capital-market turmoil. «Greek banks are directly exposed to the sovereign’s deteriorating credit quality through their large Greek government debt portfolios.»