Fitch upgrades Spain credit rating

25th April 2014, Comments 0 comments

Fitch Ratings upgraded Spain's sovereign credit on Friday, pointing to the nation's lower borrowing costs, brighter economic outlook and sturdier banks.

Spain's creditworthiness score was lifted to BBB-plus from BBB, indicating the country has a "good credit quality" with a low risk of defaulting on its foreign borrowing.

The outlook for the rating was stable, it said.

"Risks to Spain's creditworthiness have decreased," Fitch said in a statement.

"Financing conditions have improved, the economic outlook is more certain, and the risk of Spanish banks posing an additional burden on the sovereign has diminished."

Spain escaped a two-year downturn in mid-2013, bringing an end to five years of stop-start recession triggered by the implosion of a decade-long property bubble in 2008.

In the first three months of this year, the eurozone's fourth largest economy grew at a quarterly rate of 0.4 percent, according to initial Bank of Spain data -- the fastest rate in six years.

Fitch praised Spain's "strong" deficit-cutting record carried out in the teeth of recession and fierce public protest.

Spain's government hailed Fitch's decision noting that it was the second credit rating upgrade since Moody's Investors Service did the same in February.

"We highly value these advances, especially the recognition of the government's commitment to reform," the Economy Ministry said in a statement.

"The continuity of these reforms will bolster the economic recovery, which will help to contain the deficit and allow a net creation of employment this year," the ministry said.


© 2014 AFP

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