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Moody's officials on visit in Hungary

Officials of ratings agency Moody's are on a visit in Hungary, Finance Ministry spokesman Ferenc Pichler told on Thursday, adding that this is but one of the regular meetings between ratings firms and the government.

"This is nothing extraordinary. Delegations from credit rating agencies come regularly," Pichler said, adding that officials from another rating agency were in Hungary on Wednesday. On 25 September, Moody's Investors Service placed Hungary's A1 local and foreign currency government bond ratings and its A1 foreign currency bank deposit ceiling rating on review for possible downgrade. This is three notches better than the rating of Standard & Poor's and Fitch. The agency has not changed the rating since 2002, but moved to negative outlook in February. István Zsoldos of Goldman Sachs said than that Moody's statement made it "very likely " that there would be a downgrade, adding that the question was whether it would be a one- or two-notch move. Pichler declined to comment a question whether there was a connection between the negative outlook and the visit of Moody's officials. (