Reuters International

Turkish Finance Minister Naci Agbal is pictured in Ankara, Turkey, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas


ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey had a positive meeting with Moody's and the ratings agency "appreciates" the government's fiscal discipline, Finance Minister Naci Agbal told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Turkey is on the backfoot after rival ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut its sovereign debt rating further into junk territory last week and changed its outlook to negative, citing political concerns following a failed military coup this month.

While the impact of S&P's downgrade was limited because it already had a junk rating on Turkish debt, investors are concerned that Moody's and Fitch could cut their ratings to below investment grade as soon as next month.

But Agbal told Reuters that S&P took a "hasty" step, adding he believed both Moody's and Fitch would have "positive evaluations". He said the two ratings agencies were aligned on their suggestion for Turkey and government targets.

(Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu, Orhan Coskun and Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Michael Georgy)


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