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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Moody's defends decision to again downgrade Greek bonds
  • [02] Stocks end moderately lower

  • [01] Moody's defends decision to again downgrade Greek bonds

    LONDON (ANA-MPA) -- A top Moody's analyst on Tuesday defended the international ratings agency's decision, a day earlier, to downgrade Greek government bonds by an eyebrow-raising four notches, Ba1 from A3.

    Asked by the ANA-MPA on Tuesday to justify the downgrade when its own report stated that the possibility of a Greek default is less likely, Sarah Carlson, Moody‚s lead sovereign analyst for Greece, said:

    "Ratings are moved when we think that a country's creditworthiness changes. The probability of default associated with a Ba1 rating is low (historically it has been around 7 percent over a five-year time horizon).

    The decision was thoroughly criticised by top EU officials, including Commissioner Olli Rehn, as well as lambasted by the Greek government. (ANA-MPA)

    Queried on whether the downgrade merely rekindles the "spectre" of a possible sovereign debt default, Carlson said:

    "The downgrade is perhaps a reminder that Greece has a significant economic recovery and debt challenge ahead of it, beyond the scope of the IMF/EU programme. I don't think it brings back the spectre because we say clearly that the risk of default is quite low."

    In defending the agency's controversial decision to announce the downgrade now instead of waiting for a Troika (IMF, Commission, ECB) report in July on Greece's fulfilment of criteria envisioned in the eurozone-IMF bailout package, she said Moody's announced it would "change the rating once new policy measures had been announced and we had fully evaluated their impact on both growth and the fiscal position. (ANA-MPA)

    "We even said approximately when the downgrade would occur. Finally, we also indicated that any downgrade was likely to be multi-notch and might take the rating to sub-investment grade territory," Carlson concluded. (ANA-MPA)

    -- hkt

    [02] Stocks end moderately lower

    The stocks market reacted relatively calmly to a Moody‚s decision a day earlier to downgrade Greek bonds. The composite index in the Athens Stock Exchange fell 0.69 pct ‚ending a five-day rally- to end at 1,530.04 points, with turnover remaining a low 111.170 million euros.

    The FTSE 20 index dropped 1.05 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.02 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index fell 0.09 pct. The Media (3.52 pct) and Telecoms (2.56 pct) sectors scored gains, while Food (2.13 pct) and Constructions (2.11 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 91 to 83 with another 58 issues unchanged. Nutriart (15 pct), Edrasi (11.11 pct), Varvaressos (10 pct) were top gainers, while ANEK (13.67 pct), Epsilon Net (10 pct) and Medicon (9.82 pct) were top losers.

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