Brazil's finance minister downplays rating downgrade ahead of presidential election

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said Friday that the recent downgrade of the country's sovereign credit rating is merely a technical decision that carries no political weight.

Earlier this week, credit rating agency Standard &Poor's downgraded Brazil's long-term bonds from BB to BB-. The agency attributed the decision to the government's inability to carry out reforms to balance the country's fiscal situation.

"We should not consider it a great political matter for Brazil. It is important that we carry out the reforms Brazil needs," Meirelles said when asked to comment on the issue.

He denied that the downgrade will affect the the country's presidential election scheduled for October. "It is a technical move, and I do not believe it will affect candidacies," he said.

Brazilian politicians are speculating on whether the move will have an impact on Meirelles, whom they expect to be a contender representing the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement Party in the upcoming election.

Meirelles added that he would rather prefer focusing on his own work. "The agency made their assessment, and I do not discuss agencies' assessments. They do their job and we will do ours," the minister said.

[ Editor: meng ]


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