(Adds background, additional details)
Aug 15 Fitch Ratings upgraded Ireland's
sovereign credit rating to 'A-minus' on Friday, becoming the
second of the three main ratings agencies to give the country an
A-rating for the first time since its banking crisis.
The ratings agency upgraded Ireland to 'A-minus' from
'BBB-plus' with a stable outlook, citing the country's continued
fiscal consolidation over the last year.
"The Irish government has continued its multi-year fiscal
consolidation program following the exit from the Troika program
at the end of 2013 and remains compliant with domestic and euro
zone fiscal rules," the ratings agency said. (bit.ly/1BkWB1j)
The troika bailout program includes cooperation between the
International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the
European Central Bank in countries requiring financing after the
Fitch said it assumes that the efforts towards fiscal
consolidation would continue in 2015 that would see the country
exit the excessive deficit procedure by next year.
The excessive deficit procedure is an action launched by the
European Commission against any European Union (EU) Member State
that exceeds the budgetary deficit ceiling imposed by the EU's
Stability and growth pact legislation.
Fitch's move follows a similar rating action from Standard &
Poor's, which upgraded Ireland's rating to 'A-minus' from
'BBB-plus' in June. Moody's currently has a lower rating of
Fitch's latest change gives Ireland a median A-rating from
the three agencies, which is required by some investors to
increase their weighting in Ireland bonds.
Ireland, whose bonds were junk-rated by Moody's until
January this year, completed an 85 billion euro EU/IMF bailout
last year and has been selling debt at record lows in recent
Fitch on Friday also raised the country's ceiling to 'AAA'
(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bangalore and Jack Stubbs in
London; Editing by Maju Samuel)