Moody’s upgrades South Korea’s sovereign rating

Seoul, Dec 19 (IANS) Global rating agency Moody’s on Saturday upgraded South Korea’s sovereign credit rating by one notch to Aa2, the third-highest in Moody’s rating tier.

The upgrade came eight months after the credit appraiser revised up South Korea’s sovereign rating outlook from stable to positive in April, Xinhua cited Strategy and Finance ministry as saying.

The outlook for the Aa2 rating was placed at stable. Standard and Poor’s and Fitch set South Korea’s sovereign rating at AA-minus, the fourth-highest in their rating gauges.

It marked the first time in the country’s history that one of the three major rating agencies gave South Korea its third-highest rating, the ministry said.

“South Korea’s credit metrics will remain strong and resilient compared to rating peers,” the Moody’s said in a statement, noting that the Asian country will grow faster than the IMF-estimated average for advanced economies.

The South Korean government has maintained a prudent fiscal stance, resulting in an average of fiscal surplus of 1.1 percent of GDP between 2010 and 2014, Moody’s said, expecting the general government debt to remain stable at around 40 percent of GDP.

Citing the government-pushed structural reforms, the statement noted that the country has a strong track record of successfully implementing reforms, saying that South Korea has a very high degree of institutional strength.

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