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Banking

S&P confirms country’s long-term credit rating at A.

S&P confirms country’s long-term credit rating at A. The international credit rating agency Standard&Poor’s affirmed the A long-term and the A-1 short-term credit ratings of Slovakia , the agency informed. Both ratings have a stable outlook. The agency explained that the country sovereign rating was based on the fast implementation of structural reforms as well as the robust economic growth outlook and the chances for adopting the euro from the beginning of 2009. S&P stated that the entry in the eurozone should reduce the financing risks, stemming from the relatively high gross external debt and would thus improve the creditworthiness of the country. On the negative side, the ratings were constrained by some downside risks from the unclear fiscal policy as part of the declared intentions of the new government in this field were regarded to be out of line with the fiscal consolidation process. These were the expansion of the welfare state and the tax and social security contributions reduction. S&P noted that a marked turnaround of the fiscal policy was not considered as likely but the uncertainty from the public finances development remained. The agency underlined that the future upgrade of the ratings was dependent on continued reforms in key sectors like social security and labour market.

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