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Spain and Greece get credit rating agency upgrades


Spain and Greece get credit rating agency upgrades


Spain’s improving economy has earned it a widely-expected upgrade from Standard and Poor’s.

Madrid’s credit rating was raised one notch to BBB from BBB-.

Two other agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, have also issued upgrades in recent weeks.

S&P said that reflects its view of “improving economic growth and competitiveness as a result of Spain’s structural reform efforts since 2010”.

S&P also raised its GDP growth projections for Spain over the next couple of years.

Madrid’s cost of borrowing rose in reaction.

Fitch remains the most optimistic on Spain, with its rating of BBB+ one notch above the other two main agencies.

Greece upgraded but still ‘highly speculative’

Fitch has put up its rating on debt-laden Greece to B from B minus with a stable outlook.

It also praised Athen’s improving fiscal track record and said the Greek economy is likely to grow this year after six years of recession.

Fitch is the most optimistic agency on the country which defaulted just two years ago, although it still classes Greece’s government bonds as “highly speculative”.

The new Fitch rating is still five levels below investment grade.

Greece sparked Europe’s debt crisis in 2009. It was given a 240 billion euro bailout in 2010 in return for budget cuts and harsh austerity measures which led to a rapid rise in poverty and unemployment.

The EU and IMF, who lent the money, said Greece had achieved a key target of making a primary budget surplus in 2013. That is tax revenues exceeded state spending, ignoring Greece’s vast debts.

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