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Originally published Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 10:03 AM

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S&P downgrades Bank of Ireland outlook to negative

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its outlook for Bank of Ireland from stable to negative, citing the weak Irish economy and heavy state supports.

The Associated Press

DUBLIN —

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded its outlook for Bank of Ireland from stable to negative, citing the weak Irish economy and heavy state supports.

Shares in Bank of Ireland fell 4 percent to euro0.69 ($0.89) after the agency said it no longer expects the bank to recover its A- stand-alone credit profile within the next two years.

The agency reaffirmed its B++ stand-alone rating. It noted that Bank of Ireland enjoys an exceptional level of state supports, including a growing government shareholding, and would struggle to wean itself off taxpayer backing and return to profits.

S&P analyst Giles Edwards said Bank of Ireland faces "faces considerable challenges to restoring its (credit profile) to the A- rating level within the foreseeable future."

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