Canadian rating company restores Greece on investment level

ATHENS, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — Greece’s sovereign-credit rating has regained investment level as the Canada-based DBRS Morningstar became the first major rating agency that brought the country’s credit rating out of the so-called “junk status” since 2010.

The Greek government hailed the move as an important leap, Greek national news agency AMNA reported on Saturday.

The rating agency on Friday raised Greece’s credit rating by one notch from BB (high) to BBB (low), maintaining the country’s outlook as “Stable”.

Given that the agency is one of the four global ones the European Central Bank takes into account for the rating of Eurozone countries’ bonds, having at least one investment level rating means Greek banks will be able to borrow on more favorable terms from the European lender.

“This leap was not easy, neither was of a technical character,” commented National Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.

“It required a systematic effort made in the last four years on economic level that has so far been rewarded with successive upgrades. It also means a further improvement to the borrowing terms, more investments in the country and new jobs,” added Hatzidakis in a written statement.

The last time Greece had enjoyed investment grade for its sovereign bonds was in 2010. Since then Greece experienced a decade-long financial crisis with three bailout agreements with the European Union, fellow Eurozone states and the International Monetary Fund.

Regaining investment grade “crucially means that Greece will be less dependent on its creditors,” said Nikolina Kosteletou, associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Athens, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

The investment level “will also open the way to a series of other financing tools, such as the social bonds, with multiple benefits for the economy and the society,” she added.

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