Fitch Ratings downgraded the sovereign ratings of Hungary (to BBB from BBB-plus), Bulgaria, Kazakhstan (by one notch to BBB-, the lowest investment-grade level) and Romania (by two notches to BB-plus from BBB) on Monday while warning that the ratings of South Korea, South Africa, Russia and Mexico are also in jeopardy. European Union members Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic states “may not be able to handle their large foreign debt burdens, which could spark financial crises,” Fitch said, adding that problems in advanced economies “triggered extreme volatility in emerging market asset prices” and prompted “liquidity strains”.

It lowered its outlook on South Korea, Mexico, Russia and South Africa to negative from stable, while that of Chile and Malaysia were cut to stable from positive.