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#S&P

# sp - Tuesday 30 June, 2015

Here is the letter Enda Kenny sent to Alexis Tsipras last night

Greece is finally heading for a default on its IMF loans.

# sp - Friday 6 June, 2014

Standard and Poor's has restored Ireland's A rating

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has welcomed today’s development.

# sp - Friday 12 July, 2013

The 9 at 9: Friday

Good morning. Here are the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.

# sp - Wednesday 3 April, 2013

Dow, S&P push to new record highs

The rise is returning the stock markets to levels not seen since before the global financial crisis.

# sp - Monday 11 February, 2013

S&P improves outlook for Irish credit rating after prom note deal

Exchanging promissory notes for long-term bonds “should reduce the government’s debt-servicing costs and lower refinancing risk.”

# sp - Thursday 11 October, 2012

S&P downgrades Spain two notches

Spain’s sovereign debt rating has been cut to just one level above “junk” grade debt – which could see Madrid’s borrowing costs skyrocketing to untenable levels.

# sp - Friday 6 April, 2012

After the global financial crisis, why are rating agencies still trusted?

Credit rating agencies were widely criticised in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008 but they continue to hold huge sway when it comes to sovereign ratings. Now the EU is looking to curb that influence. TheJournal.ie investigates…

# sp - Tuesday 14 February, 2012

Moody's downgrades six European countries - and warns of more to come

France and the UK were both warned that they could lose their coveted AAA credit rating.

# sp - Monday 16 January, 2012

Bailout costs likely to rise after S&P downgrades EU fund

Standard & Poor’s downgrades the European Financial Stability Fund, meaning our future loans will probably cost us more.

Safe: Moody's says it will maintain France's AAA rating

It follows Standard & Poor’s downgrade of France and others on Friday.

# sp - Sunday 15 January, 2012

Standard & Poor's defends mass European downgrade

The US-based credit rating agency has defended its decision after a sharp European backlash yesterday against its move to downgrade nine EU countries.

# sp - Friday 13 January, 2012

The 5 at 5: Friday

5 stories, 5 minutes, 5 o’clock…

# sp - Wednesday 7 December, 2011

S&P puts whole of European Union on notice of possible downgrade

The rating agency’s latest move follows a similar measure imposed on most eurozone countries earlier this week.

# sp - Friday 2 December, 2011

S&P downgrades Australia's four largest banks

Australia’s four largest banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac – have all been downgraded by S&P.

# sp - Wednesday 10 August, 2011

US stocks slump amid fears about European banks

The Dow Jones has fallen back again following yesterday’s gain.

# sp - Tuesday 9 August, 2011

Dow Jones rallies after Fed statement

The Federal Reserve said today that it’s likely to keep interest rates at record lows for the next two years. It also acknowledged that the economy is weaker than it had thought.

# sp - Monday 8 August, 2011

Dow disaster: 632-point drop is the 6th-worst in history

The Dow Jones ends its day deep in the red, as the S&P loses 6.6 per cent and the NASDAQ sheds nearly 7 per cent of its value.

Obama says US will "always be a AAA country" no matter what agencies say

The US president has made his first public comments since S&P downgraded the United State’s credit rating on Friday.

Take 5: Monday

5 stories, 5 minutes, 5 o’clock.

US markets continue nosedive as investors dump shares for bonds

The US bond market responds brilliantly to the S&P downgrade, but the world’s stock markets are the obvious victims.

# sp - Saturday 6 August, 2011

Downgraded: US loses AAA credit rating for the first time ever

Standard & Poor’s decision makes it the first time the US’ credit rating has fallen below the highest level, AAA, which it has held since 1917.

# sp - Tuesday 19 April, 2011

US government bonds put on 'negative' watchlist by S&P

The very benchmark of government financial reliability – the US Treasury bond – is given a talking-to by Standard & Poor’s.

# sp - Friday 1 April, 2011

The Daily Fix: April Fool's Day

TheJournal.ie’s daily guide to what’s been going on for the last 24 hours: credit ratings, Cork visits and Kerry presidents?

# sp - Thursday 26 August, 2010

IRELAND’S short-term treasury bill auction this morning seems to have gone rather well. Demand for the six-month treasury bills was ten times more than supply, and saw the bonds sold off with an average yield of 1.978% – compared to a 2.458% yield at the last similar auction just two weeks ago. Eight-month bills were four times oversubscribed with an average yield of 2.35%, down from 2.81%. That that, S&P!

# sp - Wednesday 25 August, 2010

THE NATIONAL TREASURY MANAGEMENT AGENCY – the body which manages Ireland’s borrowing requirements, and its national debt – has criticised the decision of ratings agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Ireland’s debt rating.

The decision from S&P to downgrade the ratings – down to AA- from a previous rating of AA – means that Irish debt is seen as a riskier investment, and will likely see the NTMA required to increase it pays to investors who buy Irish debt.

NTMA chief John Corrigan told RTÉ that S&P’s analysis was based on an “extreme estimate” that the final cost of the government’s bank recapitalisation programme would reach €50 billion.

“We have taken issue with the rating agency,” he said. “It’s something we don’t like to do but there comes a point when the analysis is not robust.”

Last night, as news of the downgrade broke, the NTMA issued a statement with a similar conclusion, describing the approach as “flawed“.

What does it mean?

But why is the NTMA so annoyed – and how important is it that our rating has been downgraded?

Well, basically Ireland’s national rating is similar to the credit rating a person might get. If you’re good at making loan repayments or have a lot of money in the bank, you’ll get a good rating. If you struggle to repay your debts and don’t have much assets, you’ll get a lower rating and it therefore becomes tougher for you to to borrow.

As the name might suggest, an ‘AAA’ (or “triple A”) rating is the best one the agency can offer, with progressively fewer As – and the occasional plus or minus – being given to lower rankings.

Ireland’s new score of AA- isn’t exactly top of the class, but it’s still definitely in the upper reaches of the scores S&P assigns. We’re still very far away from being called ‘junk’. In fact, we could slip to a single A or even to BB before we’re given that ignominious title.

The only difference is that unlike the Moody’s downgrade last month, which brought its rating in line with those of S&P and the other main ratings agency Fitch, this change brings Ireland’s average another step downward.

We won’t find out for some time how the downgrade will affect us, however – the NTMA’s next bond auction isn’t until September 21, and the agency has already raised 99% of Ireland’s fundraising target for the year with three auctions still to go.

It will also be interesting to see whether the other agencies follow suit, with the S&P rating based on an arguably inflated estimate of how much the bank bailout will ultimately cost. Other ratings may be a little more conservative than S&P’s €50bn projection.

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