S&P raises Ireland’s debt rating in response to improving economy

Standard & Poor’s has raised Ireland’s sovereign debt rating in response to the country’s improving economic fortunes.

The agency cited Ireland’s “continued strong external performance” and a sustained recovery of the domestic economy as the rationale for its upgrade.

It raised the country’s long-term sovereign credit rating to A- from BBB+, with a postive outlook.

“The upgrade reflects our view of the brightening prospects for Ireland’s domestic economy, which we expect to underpin further improvements in the government’s financial profile, capital markets access, and financial system asset quality,” the agency said.

The National Treasury Management Agency welcomed the upgrade.

NTMA chief executive John Corrigan said: “Today’s decision by S&P marks the first A rating of Ireland by any of the major credit rating agencies since the normalisation of Ireland’s return to the bond markets.”

“It represents a further confirmation of the continuing positive assessment of Ireland by the major credit rating agencies. It also underpins the already strong investor sentiment towards Ireland and provides a very supportive backdrop for the remainder of the NTMA’s funding programme in 2014.

“It is gratifying to note that the bond market access achieved by Ireland and the progress made by Nama are among the positive factors cited by S&P.”


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