ECONOMY

Moody’s ups ratings

Moody’s Investors Service yesterday issued rating revisions for seven of the countries poised to join the European Monetary Union (EMU). Specifically, Moody’s has placed under review for upgrade the foreign-currency ceilings and government bond ratings of Slovakia (A2) and Lithuania (A3), and assigned a positive outlook to these ratings for Cyprus (A2), Estonia (A1), Latvia (A2), Malta (A3), and Slovenia (Aa3). Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia joined in June 2004, followed by Cyprus, Latvia and Malta in May 2005 and Slovakia in November 2005. Moody’s observed that, thanks to a benign international financial environment and adequate policy discipline by the governments involved, the ERM2 currencies have remained stable and indicate that entry into the EMU, which could take place as early as 2007 for the first entrants, seems likely.