Thursday 5 December 2019

Ireland gets upgrade in S&P sovereign credit ratings

NTMA chief executive Conor O'Kelly. Photo: Frank McGrath
NTMA chief executive Conor O'Kelly. Photo: Frank McGrath
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Ireland's sovereign credit rating has been restored to its pre-bailout level for the first time by ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P), bringing it to AA- (from A+) with a stable outlook.

This is Ireland's first long-term rating upgrade from S&P since June 2015 and returns Ireland to the AA rating category for the first time since entering the Troika programme in late 2010. The upgrade is a positive development for the Government.

Re-entering the AA category puts Ireland closer to core eurozone countries including France (AA), Belgium (AA) and Austria (AA+). Other countries in the AA category include the United States (AA+) and the United Kingdom (AA).

S&P also upgraded Ireland's short-term rating from A-1 to A-1+, which is S&P's highest short-term rating.

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NTMA Chief Executive Conor O'Kelly said: "Today's upgrade continues the upward trend in Ireland's sovereign ratings that has been evident for some time."

In making its decision, S&P referenced Ireland's strong fiscal outcomes and vigorous economic growth.

"Our new AA- rating will increase the pool of potential buyers of Irish Government bonds, which will be positive for demand and further enhance our ability to diversify our investor base," said O'Kelly.

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