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International agency Fitch has raised Cyprus’ credit rating by one notch to BBB-, elevating the Mediterranean island nation back into investment grade more than five years after a financial crisis nearly drove it into bankruptcy.
Fitch said Friday that high fiscal surpluses above 2 percent of gross domestic product until 2020, coupled with robust economic growth reaching 4 percent and 3.9 percent of GDP this year and next respectively were key reasons for the rating upgrade.
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The agency also cited steps taken to reduce the banking system’s significant bad debt load including the Cyprus-based Hellenic Bank’s takeover of the troubled Cooperative Bank. It also said the country’s public debt will remain on a downward trajectory.
Standard & Poor’s was first in lifting Cyprus back into investment grade last month.