S&P affirms ECB's top rating, outlook stable

NEW YORK Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:57pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 31 (Reuters) - Rating agency Standard and Poor's on Thursday affirmed the European Central Bank's top triple-A rating, citing the bank's monetary flexibility and the high average sovereign ratings among the euro zone's member nations.

The outlook is stable, the agency added.

"The ECB's monetary policy flexibility is supported by the euro's role as a reserve currency, the euro's free floating exchange rate regime, and the credibility of the ECB's monetary policy," S&P said in a statement.

"The ratings on the ECB are also based on the eurozone members' GDP-weighted average rating of 'AA-minus' and our assessment of the ECB's most creditworthy members' ability and willingness to act to maintain confidence in the euro," the statement added.

Moody's Investors Service currently rates the bank Aaa, also with a stable outlook.

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