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Noonan sees Moody's upgrade for Ireland

Friday, December 06 15:16:15

Finance minister Michael Noonan on a visit to the UK today said he hoped that Moody's will soon upgrade Ireland's debt to investment level as the country emerges from its bailout.

Speaking to Bloomberg Television, he said the mood from all the rating agencies regarding Ireland is positive.

"We're hopeful that Moody's will have another look at us early in the New Year," Mr Noonan said.

Earlier today Mr Noonan said he does not envisage an early sale of the 15pc equity stake it holds in Bank of Ireland.

The government sold a 1.8 billion euros preference share in the bailed-out bank on Wednesday, triggering speculation it would turn its attention to selling its ordinary shares in the bank, which have more than doubled in value this year and now worth 1.2 billion.

"We'll hold onto it at the minute," Noonan told reporters in London. "We certainly won't be having any firesales and I don't envisage an early sale."