Portugal keeps access to EU financial help

  • ECO News
  • 21 October 2016

Toronto-based DBRS said it is maintaining Portugal at BBB (low), with a stable outlook.

Canadian ratings agency DBRS has kept its investment grade classification for Portuguese bonds, ensuring Portugal kept access to EU financial help.

Toronto-based DBRS  said it is maintaining Portugal at BBB (low), with a stable outlook.

“The rating reflects Portugal’s eurozone membership and its adherence to the EU economic governance framework, which helps foster credible macroeconomic policies,” it said in a statement. DBRS was the only major agency that did not cut Portuguese bonds to junk status following a 78 billion euro bailout in 2011 that spared the country from bankruptcy. A eurozone country needs at least one investment-grade rating to qualify for ECB stimulus.

“The centre-left minority government continues to demonstrate commitment to comply with the EU fiscal rules and important structural reforms are not expected to be reversed,” it added.

DBRS’s decision was much anticipated as it is the only one of the four agencies accepted by the ECB to have maintained Portugal’s rating in an investment grade category despite the country being hit hard by a debt crisis.

If the agency had downgraded its rating, the ECB would no longer have been allowed under its rules to purchase Portugese government bonds as part of its quantitative easing programme.