The agency Moody's improved Portugal's sovereign debt rating from "Ba1" to "Baa3" by one step, and withdrew it from the "junk bond" level, as Fitch and Standard and Poor's (S & P) had previously done. .
The agency, which placed the debt lusa one step above the "junk bond" and with a "stable" perspective, explained in a note that its decision is mainly due to the trend of sustainable decline in public debt, "with limited risks of let it be reversed. "
Moody's expects Portugal's public debt to fall to 116% of GDP in 2021 – it closed 2017 at 124.7% – and considers that its downward trend will remain "relatively robust" in the face of the most likely risks, including an increase in Interest rates.
The agency also highlighted the "significant fiscal improvement" in recent years, with a deficit that has remained since 2016 at 3% or below that figure, and progress in the restructuring of some of the banks with more problems.
In that sense, it considered that new capital injections in the Novo Bank – the heir of the bankrupt Espírito Santo Santo (BES) – will not affect the reduction of the public debt, due to the mechanisms included in the sale agreement with the Lone US fund. Star.
Moody's also highlighted the country's greater economic resilience, which has benefited from an improvement in Portugal's external position and the contribution of investment, especially since the middle of 2016.
"The recovery of investment spending, the rebalancing of the economy towards trade and the improvement of political and banking stability have raised potential growth in Portugal to around 1.5%, stronger than in recent years (0, 3% between 2010 and 2017), "he added.
Moody's was the first of the large agencies that placed the Portuguese debt in the speculative grade, in July 2011, and was the last to recommend its investment again.
S & P was the first to withdraw it from the "junk bond" in September 2017, and Fitch followed in December.