Ireland Raised by S&P to A+ as Economic Recovery Takes Hold

Ireland’s credit rating was raised one level by Standard & Poor’s as the nation’s economy and banks rebounded from western Europe’s worst real-estate crash.

The rating was raised to A+ from A with a stable outlook, S&P said in a statement on Friday in Dublin. That still leaves it four levels below the ratings firm’s top rating.

“The upgrade reflects our view of Ireland’s improved fiscal performance, higher state asset sales, and robust economic performance, which have combined to lead to a quicker decline in net general government debt than we had previously forecast,” S&P said.

S&P was the first of the three main ratings companies to strip Ireland of its top grade in 2009 as the nation’s borrowing costs soared after the state guaranteed its ailing banks. Last year, it lifted the nation from a crisis-low of BBB+ after it exited a bailout program at the end of 2013. S&P raised Ireland to A in December.

Ireland is rated A- at Fitch Ratings and Baa1 at Moody’s Investors Service.

The yield on Ireland’s benchmark 10-year bonds have fallen to 1.61 percent from a high of 14.2 percent in July 2011 at the height of the crisis. The country sold 750 million euros ($833 million) of 7-year bonds on May 14 at a yield of 0.81 percent.

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