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bumped up

As expected, Moody's upgrades Ireland's debt for second time

The ratings agency gave Ireland its second ratings bump in a year.

RATINGS AGENCY MOODY’S has given Ireland its second upgrade in a year.

It wasn’t a totally unexpected move: yesterday, we reported how it Moody’s looked set to upgrade Irish debt up two notches, from Baa3 to Baa2, with a stable outlook.

That’s still one notch below where other agencies – like Standard & Poors and Fitch – rate this country’s treasury bills.

Danske Bank analyst Owen Callan said yesterday that Moody’s is “catching up with realities in general on the ground. Clearly they had a change of heart on how they view the eurozone overall.”

The agency had been criticised for how slow it was to upgrade its rating of Irish government debt.

This evening, the National Treasury Management Agency welcomed the decision, with  NTMA Chief Executive John Corrigan saying:

Moody’s upgrade means that all of the three main rating agencies now have Ireland rated at BBB+ (or equivalent), which clearly ranks Ireland as an investment-grade credit and reflects the confidence in Ireland shared by investors generally.

He said the news is also positive for the remainder of the NTMA’s funding programme in 2014 which is already more than 80 per cent achieved.

“I am pleased to note that one of the main drivers for today’s upgrade was the sharp reduction in Government contingent liabilities due in part to the accelerated asset sales by NAMA,” he said.

Read: Here’s why Moody’s looks likely to upgrade Ireland tomorrow>

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