Brazil: Basket case or buying opportunity?

Laura Dew

Investors were given yet another reason to steer clear of Brazil after political turmoil and high debt levels saw ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgrade the country's status from investment grade to 'junk' this month.

S&P said the general government deficit is expected to rise to an average of 8% of GDP in 2015 and 2016, before declining to 5.9% in 2017 – versus 6.1% in 2014.  It cut Brazil's credit rating from BBB-minus to BB-plus, while the outlook remains negative, meaning further downgrades could soon follow. "The political challenges Brazil faces have continued to mount, weighing on the government's ability and willingness to submit a 2016 budget to Congress that met economic targets," it said.  Following the announcement, the Brazilian real plunged to a 12-year low, at 3.84 to the dollar, ...

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