Vodafone headaches continue with another rating downgrade

US broker Citigroup became the latest broker to downgrade Vodafone amid fears that the mobile giant is facing an even tougher time in its core European market, a Daily Telegraph report said.

The US broker cut its recommendation to 'hold'' from 'buy," after downgrades from ABN Amro and JP Morgan last week, the report said.

Last week, Vodafone's rival T-Mobile raised the prospect of a price war in the crucial German market after its parent Deutsche Telekom delivered a shock profit warning.

Vodafone lost its long-standing crown as the world's biggest mobile phone company by value to China Mobile after its shares closed down, the report said.

Citigroup said the market was ''excessively skeptical'' of Vodafone's strategy.

The broker said the market needs confidence that outside factors, such as fierce price competition and regulation, will not overwhelm the efforts of Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin and his management.

It said Sarin's goals may not be reached as quickly as expected, the report said.