Cyprus' economy receives boost after major ratings agencies upgrade status

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NICOSIA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- As all three U.S. ratings agencies upgraded Cyprus' credit ratings, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said Saturday that the country's economy has received a boost.

After Standard & Poor's (S&P) raised Cyprus' ratings to BBB+ from BBB and kept Cyprus' outlook positive on Friday, Christodoulides said this will contribute to economic growth by securing cheaper lending and will attract investments.

Moody's and Fitch in late May and early June also upgraded Cyprus' ratings.

"Access to international markets and attracting foreign investment are, among other things, essential ingredients for keeping the Cypriot economy on a growth path," Christodoulides said in a written statement.

S&P cited the addressing of "fiscal imbalances, amid strong growth, despite the external shocks" among the reasons for the upgrading, and projected the country's growth would pick up in the coming years, averaging 3 percent annually from 2024 to 2027.

Cyprus has been striving to raise its credit ratings since 2013 when all international rating agencies downgraded its economy to junk levels amid the eastern Mediterranean island's worst economic and banking crisis. Its economy was rescued by a bailout by the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund in the same year.

Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said in a statement that given the challenges posed by the crises in Ukraine and Gaza, he will pursue economic activity responsibly "in terms of growth and employment (holding down unemployment), as well as public finances." Enditem

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