Standard & Poor's downgrades Cyprus 2 notches to CCC+ over heightened risk of debt default

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded Cyprus further into junk status amid concerns that the country could default on its debts.

It says Friday that the two-notch downgrade to CCC+ is due to a "considerable and rising" risk that the country, one of the 17 EU countries that uses the euro, may default.

It also maintains its negative outlook on the country, meaning that further downgrades are possible.

S&P says it went ahead with the downgrade because the Cypriot government is running out of money while uncertainty remains over the terms of a bailout that the country is trying to negotiate with international lenders to salvage its banks that are heavily exposed to debt-crushed Greece.