Sunday 20 April 2014

Ratings agency S&P upgrades Irish outlook to stable from negative

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

RATINGS agency Standard & Poor’s has raised its outlook for Ireland to stable from negative.

The change comes just days after the Government, led by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, secured a deal on the Anglo promissory note debt with the European Central Bank.

The move "reflects our expectation that the exchange of promissory notes for longer-term government bonds significantly reduces the Irish government's debt-servicing costs and refinancing risk, and supports medium-term fiscal consolidation,” S&P said in a statement.

"By improving the government's debt-maturity profile, the transaction also increases the prospects of Ireland leaving the EU/IMF bailout programme as planned at the end of 2013,” it added.

It currently rates Ireland BBB- plus.

Moody's rates Ireland Ba1 with a negative outlook, below investment grade, while Fitch rates us BBB-plus with a stable outlook.

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