The head office of SNC Lavalin are seen Thursday, February 19, 2015 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Standard & Poor’s downgrades SNC-Lavalin, citing charges and diplomatic feud

Agency also highlighted the prospect of a ban of up to 10 years on contracts with the Canadian government

Debt rating agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., citing problems at a Chilean mining project, damaged business relations with Saudi Arabia and criminal charges against the beleaguered engineering giant.

The agency says a pair of slashed profit forecasts from SNC-Lavalin in the past three weeks — which first halved the per-share earnings target and then cut it again by more than 40 per cent — will make for a higher debt ratio.

The downgrade to BBB- from BBB notes the Montreal-based company has halted all bidding on future mining projects following a dispute with Chile’s state-owned copper mining company Codelco, now entering arbitration.

Standard & Poor’s says SNC-Lavalin’s growth prospects for oil and gas have “deteriorated” as the diplomatic feud continues between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: Ethics watchdog probes alleged PMO interference in SNC-Lavalin case

READ MORE: Opposition parties push for emergency meeting on SNC-Lavalin case

The agency also highlighted the prospect of a ban of up to 10 years on contracts with the federal government in Canada.

The ban is one possible outcome that could flow from a conviction on fraud and corruption charges stemming from alleged dealings with the Libyan regime under Moammar Gadhafi between 2001 and 2011.

The downgrade came after the federal ethics commissioner launched an investigation into allegations the Prime Minister’s Office put pressure on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the company avoid a criminal prosecution. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denied directing Wilson-Raybould on the matter.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Victoria councillors consider 55 per cent raise

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO says councillors are ‘absolutely not’ city employees

Five rescued after boat smashes into the rocks between Tofino and Ahousaht

Ahousaht volunteers, coast guard leap into action in stormy weekend seas

Vancouver Island cat stars in national fundraising calendar

Jax the cat was one of 13 pets selected from nearly 45,000 entries

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Saanich resident calling for gas powered leaf blower ban finds support as autumn leaves fall

‘Cities don’t need to be noisy and happiness and wellbeing should be a priority,’ says the resident

Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to additional year tacked on to 14-year sentence

Man escaped from William Head Institution arrested days late in Esquimalt

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

Campbell River RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

Officer expected to make a full recovery; had been conducting impaired driving investigation alone

Most Read