Ireland's Debt Default Predicted by Majority of Investors in Global Poll

      Investors Also Growing More Pessimistic About Greece and Portugal

Ireland Ranks Behind Greece Only Among Nations Seen As Most Likely to Default

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- November 12, 2010

A majority of global investors predict Ireland will default on its sovereign
debt, showing that weeks of efforts by the government of the onetime “Celtic
Tiger” haven’t allayed concerns about its creditworthiness.

As the Irish government puts the finishing touches on a plan to find 15
billion euros ($20.5 billion) in savings, 51 percent of respondents in the
latest Bloomberg Global Poll say they regard a default as likely, compared
with 42 percent who say it is unlikely. The ranks of those anticipating an
Irish default have tripled since a poll in June.

The full story is online at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-12/ireland-s-debt-default-predicted-by-majority-of-investors-in-global-poll.html

Ireland ranks behind only Greece -- with 71 percent of those polled -- and
ahead of Portugal -- with 38 percent -- among nations seen as most likely to
default, according to the quarterly poll of 1,030 Bloomberg customers who are
investors, analysts or traders, conducted Nov. 8.

Investors haven’t become more optimistic about the prospects for Greece and
Portugal, two other European nations hamstrung by budget deficits. In the
latest poll, 71 percent say a Greek default is likely, compared with 67
percent who said so in a Bloomberg poll in September. Those anticipating that
Portugal will default rose to 38 percent from 36 percent.

Investors remain optimistic about the low risk of a default by Spain, the
eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. Of those polled, 71 percent called a
Spanish default “unlikely,” up six percentage points from the September poll.

By a 2-to-1 margin, U.S. investors agreed a Spanish default was unlikely,
though Americans were almost twice as likely as European investors to
anticipate a default by Spain or Italy.

The Bloomberg poll showed little variation in investor sentiment toward
Ireland. Majorities in the United States and Europe expect Ireland to default,
while a 48 percent plurality of Asian investors agreed.

Investors showed little concern over prospects for four other countries
included in the poll. Only 21 percent of respondents said it was likely that
Argentina would default; Italy was chosen by 16 percent; the U.S. by 7 percent
and the U.K. by 5 percent.

The poll was conducted by Selzer & Co., of Des Moines, Iowa, and has a margin
of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Contact:

Bloomberg
Jessica Turtletaub, +1 212-617-8476
jturtletaub@bloomberg.net