Last Update: 13:11
MoodyÎ„s upgraded GreeceÎ„s long-term issuer rating as well as all senior unsecured bond and programme ratings to Caa2 and (P)Caa2 from Caa3 and (P)Caa3, respectively.The outlook has been changed to positive from stable.
According to Moody’s, the key drivers for todayÎ„s rating action are as follows:
1. Successful conclusion of the second review under GreeceÎ„s adjustment programme and release of a tranche of €8.5bn in the coming days. Beyond the near-term impact of allowing Greece to repay upcoming maturities, we consider the conclusion of the review to be a positive signal regarding the future path of the programme, as it required the Greek government to legislate a number of important reform measures.
2. Improved fiscal prospects on the back of 2016 fiscal outperformance, expected to lead soon to a reversal in the countryÎ„s public debt ratio trend. The government posted a 2016 primary surplus of over 4% of GDP versus a target of 0.5% of GDP. MoodyÎ„s expects the public debt ratio to stabilize this year at 179% of GDP, and to decline from 2018 onwards, on the back of continued substantial primary surpluses.
3. Tentative signs of the economy stabilizing. While it is too early to conclude that economic growth will be sustained, MoodyÎ„s expects to see growth this year and next, after three years of stagnation and a cumulative loss in output of more than 27% since the onset of GreeceÎ„s crisis.
The decision to assign a positive outlook to the Caa2 rating reflects MoodyÎ„s view that the prospects for a successful conclusion of GreeceÎ„s third adjustment programme have improved, which in turn raises the likelihood of further debt relief.
MoodyÎ„s maintains a two-notch gap between the bond and the deposit ceilings to reflect the ongoing capital controls. The short-term foreign-currency bond and bank deposit ceilings remain unchanged at Not Prime (NP).