Saturday 23 September 2017

Government seniors downplay importance of hoped-for Moodys upgrade

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Senior figures in the government have moved to downplay the importance of a hoped for ratings upgrade from Moodys ahead of today’s scheduled update from the agency.

Analysts are split over whether the agency will lift its Irish rating above “junk” status for the first time since 2011. Moodys is the only one of the main rating agencies that does not class Irish government debt as a higher or investment grade standard.

“It is certainly important but its not vital. We are doing fine working on the rating we have already from the main agancies,” Michael Noonan said on the issue at a press conference in Dublin this morning.

The Moodys assessment on reflects the agencies views on the wider eurozone, not just the Irish economy, the minister said,

“When we talk to Moodys their concern seems to be with the euro zone as a whole rather than with Ireland in particular,” he said.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said what is important is what is what is happening in practice – including the National Treasury Management Agency successfully selling Irish bonds, and the interest in investing in Ireland from outside.

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