Moody's urges Turks to act swiftly on U.S. troop deal
Tue March 11, 2003 10:46 AM ET
ISTANBUL, March 11 (Reuters) - International ratings agency Moody's said on Tuesday
Ankara should act quickly to approve the arrival of U.S. troops in Turkey or it risked
forfeiting an aid deal that may stabilise the country's ratings outlook.
The agency said a war in Iraq could spark moves to downgrade Turkey's credit rating if
the country's debt situation worsened. Turkey says the U.S. has offered up to billion
in grants and loan guarantees if parliament approves the troops' deployment.
"It's going to be too late if they wait...I'm afraid the money would be off the table if they
wait another week or so," Moody's analyst Kristin Lindow told Reuters by telephone.
"If the situation deteriorates for their debt costs then we would perhaps initiate a review
for a downgrade."
The agency said it suspected Ankara did not currently have sufficient financial incentive
to stick to its IMF-backed economic programme, secured after financial crisis ripped
though Turkey's economy in February 2001. http://reuters.com/financeNewsArticle.jhtml?type=economicNews&storyID=2361587
Israel is an A2 Country Moody's Investors Service, the respected provider of credit ratings
and credit-related research in the global financial markets, has this month reaffirmed
Israel’s credit rating of A2 and given the state a stable outlook assessment. This despite
the ongoing PLO war and the threat of regional developments detrimental to Israeli
security. The recent Atid-EDI business report quoted Moody's Vice President Jonathan
Schiffer, author of the report, as saying, "The aggravated geopolitical variable is already
factored into the ratings, which otherwise would be much higher."
The Moody's report stated that the outlooks for all Israeli ratings are stable. The current
regional military balance and the strong external financial support that would be available
in a crisis from the Jewish Diaspora and from the US government are factors offsetting
the possible instability of the local security situation. Another important factor cited by
Moody’s and reported by Atid-EDI is the willingness of the Israeli government to cut
expenditures and fight budget deficits, in an effort to maintain economic stability. In
particular, Moody’s noted the positive free market developments of the second half of the
1990s, which expanded competition into various public sectors, increased privatization
and increased fiscal responsibility. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=40413