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Moody’s keeps ‘A1’ sovereign rating for Korea: official

Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed its “A1” sovereign rating with stable outlook for Korea, citing the nation’s strong fiscal status and ample foreign exchange reserves, a Finance Ministry official said Thursday.

The rating agency is said to have assessed the strength of the economy by sending a delegation to the Finance Ministry and Financial Supervisory Services earlier this year, where it decided to maintain its fifth-highest rating for Asia’s fourth largest economy.

“In accordance to its recently changed policy, Moody’s will not announce the results of its annual meetings if there is no rating adjustment,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “We can say that our credit ratings have been decided to remain unchanged as a result of the annual meeting.”

Moody’s raised Korea’s rating from A2 to A1 in April 2010 on the country’s accelerating economic recovery in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Moody’s senior vice president Tom Byrne said in a New York conference in September that the agency has no plan to downgrade Korea, saying it is “less likely to be affected by the ongoing global financial crisis.”

Moody’s together with the two other global credit rating agencies ― Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings ― completed their annual assessment of the economy this year. S&P currently has an “A” for Korea, its sixth highest rating, two notches below Japan and China. Fitch Ratings placed it on par with China, Taiwan and Italy at “A1.”

By Cynthia J. Kim (cynthiak@heraldcorp.com)
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