The negative impact from the plunge in oil prices rippled further throughout crude-producing nations as Standard & Poor’s cut the credit ratings of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kazakhstan. Saudi Arabia’s credit grade was cut two levels to A- from A+ as oil prices continued to tumble. Oman’s was lowered to BBB- from BBB+, following a reduction in November. Kazakhstan is now rated BBB-, down from BBB. Bahrain was cut to BB from BBB-, putting it two steps below investment grade and the only one of the four to be rated junk. The Saudi downgrade comes less than four months after S&P cut the kingdom’s credit rating one level to A+ in late October, when Brent crude was selling for around $50 a barrel. It traded at a high of $34.76 in London on Wednesday. The decline in oil prices “will have a marked and lasting impact” on the […]