US - Standard & Poor's has placed 76 fixed-income funds on credit watch because of their exposure to US Treasury and government agency securities.
S&P said it made the decision as a result of growing concerns about US sovereign credit quality.
It said in a statement "there is a one-in-two chance that we would lower the ratings (on the funds) over the next 90 days by up to two notches".
"Of the 206 funds managed in the US, Europe and Bermuda, we placed our ratings on 73 of them on CreditWatch negative because of the funds' significant exposures, either through direct or indirect investments in US Treasury and US government agency securities," the statement said.
The moves follow S&P's placement of its AAA long-term and A-1+ short-term ratings on the US on credit watch negative on July 14.
The statement added: "The action on the US government's 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term ratings reflects our view of two issues: the failure to raise the federal debt ceiling so as to ensure that the government will be able to continue to make scheduled payments on its obligations, and our view of the likelihood that Congress and the Obama Administration will agree upon a credible, medium-term fiscal consolidation plan in the foreseeable future.
"As it stands, we see at least a one-in-two likelihood that we could lower the long-term rating on the US within the next three months--by one or more notches, into the 'AA' category--if we conclude that Washington hasn't reached agreement on the latter of these two issues."
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