ECONOMY

S&P takes Greek credit rating up by two notches

s-amp-038-p-takes-greek-credit-rating-up-by-two-notches

The prospect of Greece entering a third bailout program and the payment of the country’s overdue tranche to the International Monetary Fund gave Standard & Poor’s the grounds for raising the country’s credit rating by two notches on Tuesday, while data showed that the external debt went down 8 percentage points of the gross domestic product in the first quarter of the year.

S&P announced on Tuesday it has raised Greece’s rating to ‘CCC+’ in the first upgrading for the Greek economy since the agreement between the government and its creditors last week. It followed a series of downgrading actions by all major rating agencies. S&P also anticipates a 3 percent recession this year.

The figures released on Tuesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority showed that the general government debt in January-March 2015 amounted to 301.5 billion euros, against 315 billion a year earlier.

This decline is attributed to the return to the Eurosystem of 10.9 billion euros of cash reserves from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) by the Finance Ministry, and the increase in domestic borrowing. Furthermore, 2.8 billion euros were paid off to the IMF in Q1.