Thursday 20 September 2018

Experts slam Moody's for no change in credit rating

Moody's decision not to upgrade Ireland last week has been branded as disappointing by a leading global financial services firm.

Analysts had been expecting the ratings giant to improve Ireland's rating on Friday, but instead it remained silent.

Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland said it had been expecting Moody's to at least upgrade its outlook for Ireland to positive from stable.

"Moody's stayed silent on Friday - leaving Ireland's sovereign rating at Baa1 (stable) where it has been since last May," said Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland analyst Fiona Hayes.

"This was disappointing as we had been looking for at least a move to positive outlook, if not a full upgrade.

"Moody's has consistently been more bearish than the other credit ratings agencies, despite more aggressive upgrades last year."


Ms Hayes noted the recovery taking place in Ireland, the drop in debt and deficit levels and the return to profitability of both Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland.

"The next opportunity for Moody's to review the Irish sovereign is on September 11. Ahead of that Standard and Poor's will review the Irish sovereign on June 5 and Fitch on August 7," Ms Hayes said. Meanwhile, Moody's Investor Service has launched a new credit rating agency, Moody's Public Sector Europe, dedicated to the European public sector debt market.

Moody's said the new agency will bring extra focus to areas including regional and local governments, universities, hospitals and housing associations, as well as not-for-profits and other government-related entities with a public service mandate.

David Rubinoff, managing director of Moody's Public Sector Europe, said that as bank lending remains constrained, public service providers will increasingly turn to debt capital markets. Moody's new wing estimates that funding needs for Europe's public sector in key markets - Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy - will reach nearly €180bn per year by 2016.

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