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Debt Crisis: Ireland likely to need second bailout warns rating agency Moody’s

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IRELAND is likely to need another bailout when the current €67.5bn from the EU/ECB/IMF programme runs out, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

The agency also warned that a ‘no’ vote in the upcoming fiscal compact referendum would block Ireland receiving further funding from the European Stability Mechanism which replaces the existing European Financial Stability Facility.

"We expect Ireland to face challenges regaining market access in 2013 and it will likely need to rely on the ESM, at least partially, when the current support programme expires,” it said.

According to the agency, the Irish government will need to rely on the ESM for more funding after 2014.

Moody’s described the decision to hold a referendum on the fiscal compact as credit negative.

“If voters reject the referendum, it could also leave Ireland isolated, particularly if it ends up being the only euro area country to reject the pact,” it added.

The government has said it wants to re-enter the bond markets to borrow money at the end of 2013 but this will only be possible if interest rates are suitably low.

Meanwhile, there were positive figures from the Irish services market.

The sector expanded at its fastest pace in a year.

The NCB Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures activity in the sector, rose to 53.3 from 48.3 in January in a move back above the 50 mark which indicates growth.

New orders also gained with the new business sub-index rising to 53.5 from 49.7 in January. Export orders also grew.