Spain kept its investment grade credit rating from Moodyâ€™s Investors Service, which cited a reduction in the risk of losing market access because of the European Central Bankâ€™s willingness to buy the nationâ€™s debt.
Moodyâ€™s assigned a negative outlook on the Baa3 sovereign debt, one step above junk, as it concluded the review for a possible further downgrade of Spainâ€™s rating that it had initiated in June, the New York-based company said in a statement yesterday.
Spain avoided joining euro-region peers Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland and Greece as being rated below investment grade. Standard & Poorâ€™s has a negative outlook on its BBB- rating, also one step above junk, and Fitch Ratings has Spain at BBB, two levels higher than junk.
The willingness of the ECB to purchase Spainâ€™s government bonds in the secondary market â€œis an important stepâ€ for Spain to maintain access to credit markets, Kathrin Muehlbronner, a Moodyâ€™s analyst in London, said in a telephone interview.