The Strategist

Fitch confirms Greece's rating at 'BB' with stable outlook

07/27/2020 - 10:02

International rating agency Fitch has confirmed Greece's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) at 'BB', outlook stable, the agency said.

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“Greece's ratings reflect high levels of income per capita... Strengths are pitted against weak medium-term growth potential, extremely high non-performing loans in the banking sector and very high stocks of government debt and net external debt,” notes Fitch.

That said, the stable outlook reflects the degree of confidence in the sustainability of public finances and economic growth following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fitch expects Greece's GDP to recover in 2021 to 5.1% growth, although the pace of the recovery is very uncertain. “There are significant downside risks in our forecasts, especially in the event of a resumption of coronavirus outbreaks,” the agency adds.

It is noted that the EU Economic Recovery Fund, agreed at the summit of the European Council on July 21, may limit the expected deterioration in the state of public finances, as well as make a positive contribution to future economic growth.

The increase in borrowing this year, according to Fitch experts, will lead to an increase in the country's total debt to GDP. The agency predicts that the debt ratio will rise from 176.6% at the end of 2019 to 197.0% this year and then decline over the next two years to 185.0% in 2022.