Italian debt chief says low ratings a barrier

LONDON, June 24 Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:21am EDT

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LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - Europe's peripheral countries are still struggling in the light of relatively low credit ratings and would like to see a return of "A"-grade ratings soon, Italy's head of public debt issuance said on Tuesday.

"A lot of foreign investors are coming back quite largely...but for some of the more conservative ones which rely a lot on ratings, being in triple B plus category is not helping," Maria Cannata told a bonds conference in London.

Answering the same question in a panel discussion, Yves Lemay, a senior official from ratings agency Moody's, said: "There has been some significant material progress (by highly-indebted euro zone countries), some of that has been reflected in the ratings, but the challenge ahead remains significant." (Writing by Patrick Graham)

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