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Moody's downgrades Ireland debt to junk status
Moody's downgrades Ireland debt to junk stats on concerns further support may be needed
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Moody's Investors Service on Friday downgraded Ireland's government debt ratings to junk status, saying it believes Ireland will need further rounds of financing when the current European Union and the International Monetary Fund support ends in 2013.

The ratings agency cut Ireland's bond ratings to "Ba1" from "Baa3," and said the outlook on the ratings remains negative.

Moody's credits Ireland with a strong commitment to fiscal consolidation, but notes that implementation risks remain significant with its weak economy.

The analysts say the EU may require private sector creditor participation as a precondition for such additional support, a negative for holders of distressed government debt.

Ireland's short-term issuer rating also was lowered by one notch to "Non-prime" from "Prime-3."

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