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Moody’s rating upgrade “improves the Irish story”

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Moody’s had said it expects that Ireland’s debt ratios will start to decline this year.

50 Greenwich Street, home of Moody's
Image: AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams

MOODY’S, THE CREDIT rating agency, raised Ireland’s outlook from negative to positive yesterday.

The news has been welcomed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who said today that it would have many positive effects on the country.

Noonan pointed out on RTÉ Radio this morning that it means there will be more people willing to buy Irish bonds, and more funds available, and that it should ensure “we get a better price in terms of lower interest rates”.

The Minister said that the positive rating “improves the Irish story” and added “our reputation is now very strong abroad”.

He said that he hopes it influences people who want to invest in Ireland, and that it should result in a strengthening of interest in foreign direct investment.

Noonan said he hoped that shortly this interest would move outside Dublin into cities and towns.

He said that if you look back to 12 months ago, “it’s an entirely different Ireland”

Meanwhile, Barry O’Leary, CEO at IDA Ireland said that this Moody’s upgrade “sends out a very positive message about Ireland around the world”.

Investment agency ratings are used by foreign investors when they are deciding on where to locate their businesses. IDA will be highlighting Ireland’s upgrade with current and prospective clients over the coming weeks.

Moody’s said yesterday it expects that Ireland’s debt ratios will start to decline this year. It also said that there were two key drivers behind its decision:

  • The growth potential of the Irish economy, which together with ongoing fiscal consolidation is expected to bring government debt ratios down from their recent peak
  • The Irish government’s exit from its EU/IMF support programme on schedule, with improved solvency and restored market access.

Read: Moody’s restores Ireland’s credit rating to investment grade>