Monday 18 December 2017

DBRS cuts Ireland's rating on weaker growth outlook


Joe Brennan

Ireland's long-term foreign and local currency debt was downgraded to A (Low) from A because of deteriorating growth prospects for the nation's economy, bond rating company DBRS Inc said.

The trend on the ratings "remain negative" as "downside risks to Ireland's export-led recovery persist", the Toronto-based company said yesterday in an emailed statement.

DBRS's rating, which is four steps above non-investment grade on its scale, remains above those of Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

"Weaker-than-expected growth is likely to push public debt ratios higher than previously anticipated," DBRS said.

"In our revised baseline scenario, Ireland's gross general government debt peaks at 120pc" of gross domestic product in 2013 and then declines gradually, according to the report.

Ireland sought an international bailout last year as investors shunned government and bank debt after the economy shrank about 15pc since 2007.

Moody's cut Ireland below investment grade on July 12, saying the country may need additional official financing and that investors may need to share in losses before it can return to the market to borrow.

Standard & Poor's affirmed its long-term rating on Ireland at 'BBB+' on August 5 and said the outlook was "stable".

Fitch Ratings confirmed Ireland's 'BBB+' rating on April 14 and subsequently removed it from "rating watch negative". (Bloomberg)

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