The decision by Standard & Poor's to strip France of its prized AAA-rating came as no surprise to a number of fund managers.
Investment Week looks back at which fund managers correctly predicted the downgrade.
Jim Leaviss - ‘the AAA economy closest to a downgrade"
M&G's Jim Leaviss, head of retail fixed interest, said in December 2010 France's credit rating was set to come under pressure over the next couple of years.
He also predicted the downgrade of the US' AAA-status six months before it happened.
"France remains the AAA economy closest to a downgrade and the US will lose its AAA-rating - but not in 2011," said Leaviss.
"Economic growth at these types of levels will not make the inroads into improving the labour markets of these economies the central banks want to see."
Nick Gartside - ‘France's debt to GDP ratio is too high"
J.P. Morgan's head of fixed income Nick Gartside said France was next in line for a downgrade last August, stating the country's debt to GDP ratio was too high to sustain a AAA-rating.
He said France needed to address its debt to GDP ratio, which was running at 90%, as the country had racked up debt levels well above the 60% average for AAA-issuers.
He also warned the UK's own credit rating will come under pressure over the next couple of years.
"France could be downgraded as its debt to GDP is forecast to rise close to 90% over the next two years," said Gartside.
"The UK's debt to GDP is set to peak at around 80% but the challenge the government faces is the stock of the debt and getting it under control."
Stuart Thomson - ‘downgrade is inevitable'
Ignis's chief economist Stuart Thomson said last October a French downgrade was inevitable as the country had seen its economic growth stunted by poor business sentiment.
He added the loss of France's AAA-rating would be a worse scenario for the global economy than the downgrade of the US.
"France losing its AAA-status is more important than the US losing its AAA-status because of France's role in the European Financial Stability Facility rescue fund, and a downgrade is inevitable based on its economic outlook," said Thomson.
"A rapid deterioration in business confidence and credit availability in the French economy means that by spring next year, growth will be negative."
Richard Hodges - ‘downgrades on the cards for all 17 eurozone members in Q1'
Legal & General Investment Management's top performing bond manager Richard Hodges predicted last December downgrades were on the cards for all 17 members of the eurozone in the first quarter of 2012.
Hodges said consensus GDP forecasts were too high and anticipated there would be further risk-off trades early next year as credit rating agencies stepped in.
"I think there will be downgrades early next year and growth will disappoint as potentially there is going to be a French banking crisis.
"All 17 eurozone members face downgrades, as even the consensus forecast for German GDP at 1% is far too optimistic," he said.
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