CHICAGO - The wave of upgrades on the horizon as rating agencies shift to a new global rating scale comes as governments face some of their toughest fiscal challenges in decades, and could sow uncertainty across the municipal market, investor analysts said at a recent roundtable here.

"I have strong reservations about upgrades en masse," said Richard Ciccarone, managing director and chief research officer for McDonnell Investment Management LLC, adding that upgrades have been outpacing downgrades for several years. "If economic conditions worsen, will there be a rush to downgrade?"

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