S&P affirms Ireland's credit rating


Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has reaffirmed its 'BBB+' long-term sovereign credit rating on Ireland, but said the outlook remained negative despite the country's recent return to the markets.

S&P said access to capital markets still restricted as bond yields remain high.

“Ireland's creditworthiness is sustained, in our opinion, by a strong political consensus for fiscal consolidation measures, which should reduce the general government deficit to around 3 per cent of GDP by 2015,” S&P said.

“We view Ireland's recent sale of new bonds in the capital market, for the first time since September 2010, as an indication of progress with regard to Ireland regaining full market access priced at rates that will stabilise the government's debt-to-GDP ratio.”

S&P estimated the Government will have adjusted the budget by about €25 billion between 2008 and 2012, with further savings of €8.6 billion planned between 2012-2015.

“Nevertheless, the public finances remain in a weak position, in our opinion,” it said.