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Ratings row: S&P boss out

business Updated: Aug 24, 2011 02:16 IST

Standard & Poor's said its president is stepping down, capping two weeks of controversy following the rating agency's downgrade of US government debt on August 5 that sparked a row with the treasury.

S&P's parent McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, said on Tuesday Deven Sharma, who has served as S&P president since 2007, will be succeeded on September 12 by Citibank chief operating officer Douglas Peterson.

Sharma, 55, would work on a strategic portfolio review for the group until leaving at year-end, McGraw-Hill said in a statement.

The one-notch downgrade of US government debt from AAA, which has not been matched by other major rating agencies, led to the biggest sell-off in global stock markets in three years and was criticised by treasury officials and the administration over some of the methodology used by S&P.

The US justice department is also investigating the ratings agency over its actions in assigning high ratings to complex mortgage securities leading up to the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The Financial Times, which first reported Sharma's resignation, quoted sources as saying his departure was unrelated to the downgrade.