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CORPORATE BRIEFS

Moody's Investors Service raises Slovak rating

After almost two years of steady declines in Slovakia's country rating, the renowned ratings agency Moody's Investor Service on October 27 increased its ratings outlook on Slovakia from negative to stable. Slovakia remains in the 'speculative' category, according to Moody's, but the outlook increase means that if the Slovak government continues with economic reforms, the country may soon return to the 'investment' bracket - a signal to international markets and investors that it is safe to put their money into Slovakia.

"The new coalition government has been working in Slovakia for almost a year. The risk that it would fall apart has decreased, while the willingness to continue with reforms has stayed strong," the agency said in explaining the outlook change. Moody's praised declines in the country's fiscal and current account balance deficits this year, as well as the central bank's efforts to reduce Slovakia's short-term indebtedness.

Similar increases in ratings are expected from two other agencies, Standard and Poor's and Fitch IBCA, both of which have had analysis teams on the ground in Bratislava for the past two weeks.

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