Greece has secured its first credit rating upgrade for the new year after Fitch announced late on Friday that it has raised Greece’s rating from “BB-” to “BB” and its outlook from “stable” to “positive.”
The move has put Greece two notches below investment grade, making Fitch the first major rating agency to bring the country so close to the coveted level. Standard & Poor’s and DBRS Morningstar have Greece three notches below investment grade, while Moody’s has it four notches inside “junk” territory.
Fitch said in its report that the sustainability of Greek debt continues to improve, supported by a stable political framework, a sustainable increase in gross domestic product and a history of fiscal overperformance in relation to the targets set.
Its positive outlook, Fitch added, reflects the improved prospects of political stability and implementation of policies after the elections of last July, which brought center-right New Democracy to power, and increased certainty the debt will continue to decline.
The next rating reports for Greece, by both Standard & Poor’s and DBRS Morningstar, are scheduled for April 24.
The timing of Fitch’s announcement was perfect for Athens as it ponders a new bond – possibly a 15-year one – this week, according to sources.