S&P cuts rating of Australia’s AMP to ‘BBB-minus’ on strategic uncertainty

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, Sept 7 (Reuters)Ratings agency S&P Global downgraded by a notch on Monday the credit rating of Australian financial planning giant AMP Ltd AMP.AX, to ‘BBB-minus’, moving it closer to “junk” status, citing challenges to its strategic direction.

The agency said AMP, which announced last week that it was considering a sale of its assets, was exposed to challenges that could disrupt its strategic direction, while its governance standards were weaker than previously thought.

“In our view, uncertainty hangs over the strategic course that has been set for the various business units,” S&P said in an emailed statement.

The BBB-minus credit rating is the last “investment” grade, with bonds rated below that considered highly speculative, or “junk”, by the agency.

S&P added that the departure of some senior executives and board members from parts of the group had fed into its decision.

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