TESTO INTEGRALE - Italia, il comunicato di Moody's sul rating

lunedì 20 giugno 2011 09:39
 

 Frankfurt am Main, June 17, 2011 -- Moody's Investors
Service has today placed Italy's Aa2 local and foreign currency
government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade, while
affirming its short-term ratings at Prime-1.
 The main drivers that prompted the rating review are:
 (1) Economic growth challenges due to macroeconomic
structural weaknesses and a likely rise in interest rates over
time;
 (2) Implementation risks surrounding the fiscal
consolidation plans that are required to reduce Italy's stock of
debt and keep it at affordable levels; and
 (3) Risks posed by changing funding conditions for European
sovereigns with high levels of debt.
 Moody's review will evaluate the weight of these growing
risks in light of the country's high rating but also relative to
some credit-strengthening trends that have been observed in
recent years and are expected over the coming years, such as
improved fiscal governance, lower budget deficits and a modest
economic recovery.
 
 RATIONALE FOR REVIEW
 First, the Italian economy faces growth challenges in an
environment characterized by long-term structural impediments to
growth and potentially rising interest rates. Structural
economic weaknesses -- mainly low productivity and important
labour and product market rigidities -- have been a major
impediment to growth in the last decade and continue to hinder
the economy's recovery from the severe recession it experienced
in 2009. Italy has so far only recovered a fraction of the
nearly seven percentage points in GDP that it lost during the
global crisis, despite low interest rates, which are likely to
rise in the medium term. Growth prospects for the Italian
economy in the coming years will be a crucial factor that will
determine the government's revenues and the achievement of
fiscal consolidation targets.
 
 Second, there are implementation risks to the fiscal
consolidation plans that are required to reduce Italy's stock of
public debt to more affordable levels. Against a backdrop of
rising interest rates and weak economic growth, the government
may find it difficult to generate the primary surpluses that are
needed to place the public debt-to-GDP ratio and the interest
burden on a solid downward trend. The adoption of additional
conservative fiscal policies may prove more difficult in the
near future because the current government's electoral support
is weakening, with the government facing challenges in gaining
public approval for its policies. For example, the government's
recent energy and water supply proposals were rejected by
popular vote.
 Third, the fragile market sentiment that continues to
surround European sovereigns with high levels of debt poses
additional risks for Italy.
 The continued stability of market demand for Italy's debt is
uncertain at current yields. Although future policy actions
within the euro area could reduce investors' concerns and
stabilize funding costs, the opposite is also possible. In any
event, going forward, investors appear likely to differentiate
more among euro area sovereign borrowers than they did prior to
the financial crisis, to the disadvantage of euro area countries
with higher-than-average debt burdens, like Italy.
 FOCUS OF RATINGS REVIEW
 Moody's review of Italy's sovereign rating will focus on the
growth prospects for the Italian economy in coming years, and
particularly the prospects for a removal of important structural
bottlenecks that could hinder a stronger economic recovery in
the medium term. The review will also examine the government's
ability to achieve ambitious fiscal consolidation targets and to
implement further plans to generate substantial primary
surpluses in the medium term. This will include an analysis of
the vulnerability of the Italian government debt trajectory to a
rise in risk premia, as well as the options for the government
to react. The government's new fiscal plan, which is expected to
be announced shortly, will be considered during the review.
 In addition, any broader developments across the euro area,
in particular with regard to the resolution of the euro area
debt crisis and its impact on funding costs, could be important
determinants of the outcome of Moody's rating review.
 PREVIOUS RATING ACTION AND METHODOLOGY
 Moody's last rating action affecting Italy was implemented
on 15 May 2002, when the rating agency upgraded Italy's Aa3
government bond ratings to Aa2 with a stable outlook. The rating
action prior to that was taken on 3 July 1996, when the rating
agency upgraded Italy's A1 government bond ratings to Aa3.
 The principal methodology used in this rating was "Sovereign
Bond Ratings", published in September 2008.