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Fitch takes Greece out of default rating after swap deal

Fitch upgraded Greek credit to a B- rating, the first ratings agency to take Greece out of default range.

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Fitch became the first ratings agency Tuesday to upgrade Greek debt out of default territory. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

Fitch became the first ratings agency Tuesday to upgrade Greek debt out of default territory in a small sign of hope for the indebted Mediterranean nation.

Fitch moved Greece from "restricted default" to B-, or "stable outlook," after it completed the largest debt restructuring deal in history, according to Reuters.

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The recent debt swap deal saw the holders of Greek debt, including many major European banks, agree to trade their old bonds with newer ones worth only a fraction of the cost. The deal saw shareholders lose billions but also cut the country's debt by about 100 billion euros, or close to one third of the total.

The bond swap deal was deemed vital for Greece to receive a second massive bailout from eurozone countries and the IMF.

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According to the Associated Press, the Greek government has been surviving since May 2010 on an initial 110 billion euro ($144 billion) set of loans designed to keep the country afloat as it enacts austerity measures.

The new rating was welcome news for the embattled country but still places its credit deeply into "junk" status.

According to Reuters, this was the first time an agency upgraded Greece's credit rating since the crisis began in 2009 and the first Fitch upgrade of Greece since 2003.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/debt-crisis/120313/fitch-takes-greece-out-default-rating-after-swap-deal