BUSINESS

Market eyes upgrades of credit rating

ELEFTHERIA KOURTALI

TAGS: Markets, Finance

Expectations are growing that credit rating upgrades will be speeded up in the next few weeks, following the European Commission’s approval of the Hercules plan to reduce bad loans, the government’s pro-business reforms and the improvement of the Greek debt’s profile following the strong bond rally.

Analysts say that the catalysts that would justify the first post-election upgrading of Greece’s rating have been consolidated, and the market is broadly expecting a positive move in this direction by Standard & Poor’s this Friday. Another positive development is expected on November 1 by DBRS, at least regarding the country’s outlook. Therefore the holy grail of investment grade within 12 to 18 months appears within reach, bringing Greece to the doorstep of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program.

Already, German rating agency Scope upgraded Greece to BB with a positive outlook last Friday, from BB- – that is two notches. Although Scope is not among the Big Four agencies that the ECB takes into account in its decisions, the upgrade constitutes an indication of the strategy of many international funds.

Online