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No more junk? Moody's set to issue its verdict on Ireland's bailout exit

Moody’s has been the most negative ratings agency when it comes to the State’s financial outlook.

Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE CREDIT RATING agency Moody’s is expected to raise its outlook on Ireland from stable to positive later today, but analysts are predicting that it will leave its rating of government bonds at junk for the time being.

The government is hoping that Moody’s will reassess its cut in the rating to junk status nearly three years ago following the financial collapse and EU-IMF bailout, but analysts don’t believe that it will.

Moody’s has been the most negative ratings agency when it comes to the State’s financial outlook.

The other main agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, did not reduce Ireland to junk during the crisis, maintaining the State’s BBB+ (Triple B) rating.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said last month that he hoped the firm would raise the country from junk early this year after the bailout exit and off the back of any bond sales.

Earlier this month, the National Treasury Management Agency, the body responsible for managing the government’s assets and debt, sold €3.75 billion of bonds at a yield of 3.5 per cent.

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This was the lowest price since at least 2000, and far below the over 7 per cent that forced Ireland into the arms of the Troika.

Read: Michael Noonan to discuss Troika exit with head of eurozone bailout fund

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Hugh O'Connell

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