August 30, 2017 / 7:36 AM / a year ago

Catalonian independence vote would not hurt Spain's rating: DBRS

LONDON (Reuters) - Ratings firm DBRS said Wednesday it was “very unlikely” its rating for Spain would be immediately damaged by the rich Catalonia region voting for independence in October’s disputed referendum.

Pro-separatist parties in Catalonia want to hold an independence ballot on Oct. 1 but it is not clear if and how the vote, which is firmly opposed by central government, can take place.

DBRS’ ratings are used by the European Central Bank for its monetary operations alongside the traditional ‘big three’ agencies of Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. DBRS rates Spain A (low) with a stable outlook.

“A Catalonian vote for independence by itself would be very unlikely to lead to negative rating action on the Kingdom of Spain,” DBRS said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“If followed by other significant developments, such as a unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia, it could increase uncertainty about the Spanish rating.”

Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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