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Fitch downgrades Finland, affirms Greece rating

Fitch downgrades Finland, affirms Greece rating
Fitch Ratings downgraded Finland's and affirmed Greece's long-term foreign and local currency rating

The global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings announced Friday that it downgraded Finland's rating, while affirming Greece's.

Finland's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) were downgraded to 'AA+' from 'AAA', while the outlook was kept "stable."

"Economic performance remains weak, with 2015 GDP expanding by 0.4 percent (the lowest growth rate in the EU with the exception of Greece) and no strong evidence of a meaningful pick-up in potential growth," Fitch said in a statement.

The rating agency said economic weakness in Finland has caused unfavorable debt dynamics for the country as its government debt to GDP ratio is expected to increase from 62.6 percent in 2015 to 67.5 percent by 2020.

However, Fitch said Finland's economic activity could gain pace gradually this year with recovery in private investment in housing and momentum in private consumption.

Fitch Ratings also said Friday that it affirms Greece's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'CCC'.

The rating agency said the conditions of the €86 billion package of the European Union are demanding, but added that the Greek government has sufficient buffers to last until May without further ESM disbursement.

Yet, the agency warned that timetable slippages could lead to increased liquidity strains this summer and bring back the "Grexit" fears.

In addition, Fitch noted that the next set of measures agreed with creditors could boost Greece's growth potential, and the IMF's participation will depend on its risk assessment, government reforms, and the size of debt relief.

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