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Greece set for major credit rating upgrade

16/01/2016 Uncategorized
Greece set for major credit rating upgrade

Greece's Economy Minister, Giorgos Stathakis, said that government’s majority “will be unaffected” by the pension system reform bill, and that it would pass through parliament

In the event of a “positive” first review of Greece’s third bailout programme, its struggling economy will be upgraded by rating agencies, a capital market specialist has told EurActiv.

The highly anticipated first assessment of the Greek bailout, agreed on by Athens and international creditors last July, is due to be completed in early February.

In the event of a positive assessment and confirmation of the growth prospects for the second semester of 2016, the Greek economy will be upgraded up to 2 grades by the rating agencies within two or four weeks,” EurActiv was informed.

Return to markets

International rating agencies currently paint a “dark” picture of the Greek economy. Moody’s rates Greece at Caa3, Fitch at CCC, and Standard and Poor’s at CCC +. A positive review and a ratings upgrade is expected to significantly boost Greek bonds.

As a result, the yield of 2-year bond maturing in 2016 will fall from 8.2% to 4% and the 10-year bond from 8.33% to 5%,” the source explained, adding: “This will restore the yield curve of the bonds and bring Greece closer to a return to the markets, with a view to issuing a 3-year bond in summer 2016.”

The devil is in the detail

A prerequisite for the first review of Greece’s €86 billion bailout is the reform of country’s ailing pension system.

The Syriza-led government has submitted a reform plan for the country’s pension system that would cut future benefits, but the opposition parties oppose it ahead of talks with official lenders this month.

Greece’s Economy Minister, Giorgos Stathakis, said  that government’s majority “will be unaffected” by the bill, and that it would pass through parliament. “The [Greek] government has proved that it can complete the negotiation cycles in a reliable way,” he stated.

Giorgos Katrougkalos, Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity, recently said that country’s lenders accept the “architecture of the reform plan”, warning at the same time that “the devil is in the detail”.

Source: EurActiv


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