S& P RAISES GREECE'S CREDIT RATING OUT OF DEFAULT TERRITORY
- Standard & Poor's raised Greece's credit rating out of default territory on Wednesday, May 2 as expected after Athens slashed its debt by about a third by completing the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in financial history, Reuters reported.
But the firm kept Greece firmly in the junk category with a CCC rating and warned that a deep recession, unpredictable elections on May 6 and popular anger against austerity could threaten Athens' efforts to put its finances back on track.
"While the exchange has, in our view, alleviated near-term funding pressures, Greece's sovereign debt burden remains high," S&P said in a statement, adding that it expected the debt to stay as high as 160-170 percent of GDP in the next three years.
S&P assigned Greece's rating a stable outlook, indicating it was not planning to change the rating again soon, but it warned that risks remained.
"The ratings could be lowered if we believe that there is a likelihood of a distressed exchange on Greece's remaining stock of commercial debt," it said.
The three major rating firms have repeatedly slashed Greece's rating throughout the debt crisis, cutting it to default over the debt deal in which private bondholders lost most of their investments in the country's government bonds.
S&P had flagged as early as February that it was likely to raise Greece's rating to the CCC category after the debt swap was completed.
Fitch assigned Greece a slightly higher B-rating in mid-March, becoming the first major rating agency to upgrade Athens' rating after the swap cut its debt by about 100 billion euros ($131.67 billion).
Moody's is the only one of the three major rating agencies to have kept its Greek rating unchanged at the lowest level. It has said it would revise the rating "in due course" and that any upgrade would likely be small.
- 1219 Death of Armenian King Levon the Second (Kingdom of Cilicia).
- 1817 General Yermolov, Commander of the Caucasian forces and Governor of the Caucasus, stops in Echmiadsin on his way to a mission in Persia.
- 1869 Death of the Armenologist Victor Langlois. He translated Armenian historical sources into French under the sponsorship of Noobar Pasha.
- 1900 Death of Hovhannes Aivazovsky (seascape artist) in Feodosia (the Ukraine). He was born in 1817.
- 1916 The "France-Armenie" committee is organized in Paris. Members of the Academy and other political figures are members.
- 1917 The First Assembly of Western Armenians opens in Yerevan under the Presidency of General Andranik.
- 1919 The Publication of Constantinople's Extraordinary Military Tribunal's decision about the perpetrators of the deportations of Booyook Dere's (Constantinople's district) Armenian population.
- 1930 Creation of the Kanaker Power Station.
- 1965 Death of Hrachia Kochar (writer and public figure). He was born in 1909.