Moody's gives EU Irish debt operation 'Aaa' rating

19th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

International ratings service Moody's said Wednesday that it had provisionally given an Aaa rating to the European rescue fund's upcoming operation to help heavily-indebted Ireland.

Moody's "assigned a provisional Aaa long-term rating to the first debt issuance programme of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and to the first drawdown under this programme," a statement said.

"The provisional rating on the drawdown will become definitive when the final terms of the first issuance are known," it added.

Market sources have said the EFSF is set to borrow between 3.0 and 5.0 billion euros ($4.0-6.7 billion) in the coming days.

Moody's said its provisional assessment was justified by "the irrevocable and unconditional guarantees" provided by participating states that will provide guarantees for the operation.

The EFSF intends to raise up to 26.5 billion euros this year and next on behalf of Ireland, which is to benefit from a total of 67.5 billion euros in aid from international sources including the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

© 2011 AFP

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