Monday, October 16, 2017

Rating agency more hopeful on Greece but balks at upgrade

By on July 21, 2017

Pedestrians walks past a mural depicting coins in central Athens, Thursday, July 20, 2017. (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

ATHENS — Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has raised its outlook for Greece from “stable” to “positive,” encouraged by a recent round of cost-cutting reforms and an expected return to growth this year.

But the agency fell short of upgrading its credit rating on the country, keeping it at B-, which remains in so-called ‘junk status’ territory.

In a statement Friday, S&P said the revision reflects an expectation that Greece’s debts and debt servicing costs will “gradually decline” on the back of the economic recovery, the fiscal measures planned through 2020 and the commitment of bailout lenders to provide additional debt relief.

Greece is hoping to tap bond market investors for only the second time since it was first bailed out in 2010, following the recent deal with creditors to restart loans.

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