The U.S. rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded yesterday the European Financial Stability Facility by one notch to AA+ from the top credit rating of triple A, as the agency sees financial guarantees provided by France and Austria worth less now.

The downgrade to 'AA+' by only one credit agency will not reduce (the) EFSF's lending capacity of 440 billion euros, Klaus Regling, the fund's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

However, this move from the rating agency follows the downgrades of France and Austria credit ratings, where the agency clarified earlier in December that any triple A downgrade will lead to ranking cuts in the European Rescue fund.

On the other hand, other rating agencies including Fitch Ratings and Moody's still value the European Financial Stability Facility at triple-A.