Ireland's bailout exit relatively smooth since crisis

Moody's upgraded Ireland to investment grade in January, handing the government a major boost a month after it completed the European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout.

Moody's upgrade means that all of the three main rating agencies now have Ireland rated at BBB+, or equivalent, which clearly ranks Ireland as an investment-grade credit and reflects the confidence in Ireland shared by investors generally.

– said John Corrigan, head of the country's debt agency.

With Irish debt already rallying, that upgrade further opened it up to investors prohibited from buying junk-rated paper. Ireland's bailout exit has been relatively smooth, having made a strong return to bond markets and with an economy set to grow about two per cent this year.

At the height of the euro zone crisis in July 2011, Moody's cut Ireland's rating to Ba1, one notch below former financial market pariah Colombia, and that prohibited large, mainly Asian-based ratings-sensitive funds from touching Irish debt.

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Ireland's credit rating upgraded by Moody's

Credit agency Moody's Investors Service upgraded Ireland's credit rating adding a further vote of confidence to the first euro zone country to complete an EU/IMF bailout last year.