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Fitch hikes Ireland's credit rating

This picture taken on December 11, 2013 shows a general view of the Ulster bank and the financial district in Dublin, IrelandRating agency Fitch on Friday revised Ireland’s sovereign credit rating up a notch to ‘A-‘, citing an “employment-led recovery” with a healthier banking system. Fitch is the second of the big three agencies to pull Ireland’s rating up from ‘BBB+’ to ‘A-‘ and thus higher into investment grade territory. Debt-plagued Ireland became the first of the bailed-out eurozone nations to exit an EU-IMF rescue programme last December — three years after seeking help to keep its economy from collapsing completely. As part of the rescue deal, Ireland agreed to painful austerity measures including spending cutbacks, state asset sales and tax hikes.

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