May 4, 2017 / 10:00 AM / 3 months ago

Greek reform deal could re-open door to capital markets - Moody's

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ATHENS, May 4 (Reuters) - A long-delayed agreement on bailout reforms struck between Athens and its international lenders this week could lead to further debt relief for Greece and help it regain access to capital markets, Moody's said on Thursday.

This would be "credit positive" for private-sector debt, the credit ratings agency said in a report.

Athens and its international lenders from the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a deal on Tuesday on a package of reforms, ending six months of haggling and paving the way for the disbursement of further rescue funds the country needs to repay debt in July.

"The key positive of the agreement is that it will potentially lead to further official-sector debt relief measures for Greece, which would render its debt burden more sustainable," Moody's said.

Greece now wants a "comprehensive" deal at the next scheduled meeting of euro zone finance ministers on May 22, including a specification of medium-term relief for its debt.

The IMF says that at 179 percent of gross domestic product, this is unsustainable.

After securing three international bailouts since 2010, Greece now owes most of its debt to its official European creditors and any further debt relief is expected to take effect after its current bailout expires in 2018.

Greece has essentially been cut off from debt markets since 201O, apart from a small foray in 2014. It says it will make a trial return soon after reaching a deal with its lenders.

Moody's said that any meaningful reduction in Greece's repayment obligations to the official sector would improve its repayment prospects to bondholders and send a positive signal for the country's ability to regain access to capital markets. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Alexander Smith)

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