Rating agency Moody’s has downgraded a number of Dutch and Belgian banks as the European debt crisis worsens.
Dutch bank ING has fallen victim to Moody’s rating cull, along with ABN and Amro, illustrating the damaging effect of the Eurozone crisis.
ING, Rabobank ABN, LeasePlan and KBC saw their levels lowered by two grades. SNS was downgraded by one level. ING is now rated A3 and has seen its bank unit downgraded to A2.
The Eurozone debt crisis is having a detrimental impact on a number of member states. Spain, Ireland, Italy and Greece have already received bailouts from the International Monetary Fund, and the UK has slipped back into a second recession.
Stronger economies such as the Netherlands and Belgium are also suffering as Moody’s cut Dutch and Belgian banks. Moody’s said in a statement: "Dutch banks will face difficult operating conditions throughout 2012 and possibly beyond."
The Netherlands "is affected by the ongoing euro area debt crisis and regional economic weakness," the ratings agency added.
The ratings change should not have a significant impact on foreign exchange, as the euro remains weak across the board.
Despite the crumbling European economy, there are a number of risky foreign investors who are taking advantage of the weak currency by snapping up cheap properties.
Transferring money to Europe
If you are looking to invest in Europe, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to Europe. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.
So if you are looking to send money overseas, to Europe or elsewhere in the world – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a investment – be sure to do your homework and shop around before you buy your overseas currency.
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