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Global Credit Research - 14 Jun 2010
London, 14 June 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the issuer rating of the
city of Athens to Ba1 from A3; the outlook is negative.
"Today's rating action follows Moody's downgrade of the sovereign ratings
of Greece to Ba1 from A3 and reflects the uncertainties arising from current
reforms on the city's finances " explains Thomas Amenta, Senior
Vice President in Moody's Sub-sovereign group.
"Moody's rating action on the city of Athens reflects the close operational
and financial links between the city and the Greek government,"
says Mr. Amenta. Moody's recognises that Athens has high
reliance on central government transfers for its operations and capital
investments, and that its local economic base is highly integrated
with that of the national economy. "Greek municipalities,
including the city of Athens, are unlikely to have enough financial
flexibility to permit their credit quality to be stronger than that of
the sovereign itself," says Mr. Amenta.
The negative outlook reflects the current uncertainties arising from the
implications of local government reform within the national plans to curb
public spending as well as our expectations that in the short term municipal
revenues will likely be lower than anticipated due to a weakening economy.
Moody's will continue to monitor closely the impact on the city's finances
resulting from any difficulties in the implementation of national policies,
including those relative to the newly-passed local government reform
(Kallikrates reform), which provides for what may be significant
changes in funding and responsibilities for Greek municipalities,
all during a time of pronounced governmental austerity. "The
definitive impacts of Kallikrates are difficult to assess given inevitable
uncertainties regarding the timing and specific mechanisms of its implementation",
says Mr. Amenta.
The last rating action on the city of Athens was implemented on 22 April
2010, when Moody's downgraded the issuer rating of the city of Athens
to A3 and placed the rating on review for further possible downgrade,
following the downgrade of the sovereign ratings of Greece.
The principal methodologies used in rating city of Athens were "Regional
and Local Governments Outside the US" and "The Application of Joint Default
Analysis to Regional and Local Governments", published respectively
in May 2008 and December 2008 and available on www.moodys.com
in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research &
Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been
considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the
Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.
As the capital city of Greece, Athens plays a key role as the financial,
economic and political hub of the country. It accounts for almost
49% of national GDP and has a total population of 745,000.
Senior Vice President
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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Moody's downgrades city of Athens' issuer rating to Ba1, with negative outlook.
No Related Data.
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