Greece’s sovereign-credit rating was lifted to investment status by DBRS Morningstar — the country’s most significant upgrade out of junk since it was rocked by a debt crisis more than a decade ago.
(Bloomberg) — Greece’s sovereign-credit rating was lifted to investment status by DBRS Morningstar — the country’s most significant upgrade out of junk since it was rocked by a debt crisis more than a decade ago.
As well as representing a seal of approval for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s economic agenda, DBRS is one of the ratings companies recognized by the European Central Bank, meaning Greek bonds will no longer face higher-than-normal haircuts when used as collateral in refinancing operations.
Friday’s announcement, after the close of European markets, brings Greece’s rating to BBB (low).
“The Greek authorities will remain committed to fiscal responsibility, ensuring that the public debt ratio stays on a downward trend,” DBRS said in a statement. “The significant improvement in fiscal and debt outcomes is bolstered by Greece’s government’s strong commitment to the implementation of a prudent fiscal plan that drives the rating upgrade.”
While markets have largely priced in Greece’s return to the investment cohort, the achievement — a key re-election pledge by Mitsotakis — is seen as marking the end of the debt-crisis era. Other ratings companies are likely to follow suit in the coming months, with Japan’s Rating and Investment Information Inc. and Germany’s Scope Ratings already having done so.
The move means further improvement in lending costs, higher investments in the country, growth and new jobs, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said.
Mitsotakis easily won a second term in office in June. His business friendly platform includes returning the budget to primary surpluses of 2%-2.5% of gross domestic output, cutting the debt ratio below 140% of output by 2027 from the highs of 206% in 2020, and early repayment of part of Greece’s rescue loans.
The economy is expanding, too. Second-quarter data published this week showed expansion of 1.3% from the previous three months, driven by consumption and investments. First-quarter figures was also revised higher.
“As the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP or Greece 2.0) continues to be implemented, investment will remain an important source of growth, although there are external downside risks,” DBRS said.
“The election result brings another period of political stability to Greece and secures policy continuity,” DBRS said.
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