Moody's maintains French AAA credit rating

Ratings agency Moody's today confirmed that it is keeping France's triple-A credit rating unchanged although its rival Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded the country's rating just three ago.

Maintaining France's rating was a boost to French President Nicolas Sarkozy following a downgrade last week by S&P on the way the country had been handling its economy and how it coped with eurozone's two-year debt crisis.

Moody's said it is maintaining France's top AAA credit rating for now but added that it would update its position on France later this quarter.

"The deterioration in debt metrics and the potential for further contingent liabilities to emerge are exerting pressure on the stable outlook of the French government's triple-A debt rating," said Moody's in a statement. "The government has now less room for maneuver in terms of stretching its balance sheet than it had in 2008."

Moody's said that it "will update the market during the first quarter of 2012 as part of the initiative to revisit the overall architecture of our sovereign ratings in the EU."

Moody's said the French AAA rating might come under pressure if its public debt kept rising or if the eurozone debt crisis worsened.