UPDATE 3-Casino under pressure to reassure investors after S&P junk threat

lunes 18 de enero de 2016 13:01 GYT

* Says performance in France, divestment to help finances

* Strong liquidity position to help meet debt repayments

* Casino confident can execute disposal plan, Thailand sale

* Shares down 9 pct, bonds also slump (Updates shares, adds bonds reaction, dividend details)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shares and bonds in French retailer Casino slumped on Monday after Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade it to junk status, citing a high debt burden and weakness in Brazil.

Casino sought to reassure investors that it could protect its "investment grade" status following the credit rating agency's action, which came after the retailer cut its earnings outlook last week and criticism from research and investment firm Muddy Waters last month.

But its shares fell 9 percent to fresh eight-year lows while its bonds gapped out by more than 100 basis points.

The French company said it was banking on an improvement in its domestic operating performance in 2016 as well as on a 4 billion euro ($4.4 bln) disposal plan to help its finances.   Continuación...