Greece ETF Rises On S&P Credit Upgrade

Includes: GREK
by: Tom Lydon

With the eurozone committed to backing Greece, Standard & Poor's rating agency upgraded Greek sovereign debt back to highly speculative, or "junk" status, lifting the outlook on Greek assets and the related exchange traded fund.

The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEARCA:GREK) increased 1% on the upgrade. The ETF is up 18.1% year-to-date.

S&P analysts brought Greek debt to a non-investment, highly speculative grade B-, or up six notches from its prior D default status, noting the country's stability, France 24 reports.

"The outlook on the long-term rating is stable, balancing our view of the government's commitment to a fiscal and structural adjustment against the economic and political challenges of doing so," S&P said, according to a report. "The upgrade reflects our view of the strong determination of European Economic and Monetary Union (eurozone) member states to preserve Greek membership in the eurozone."

Greece recently completed its distressed debt buyback as the country was approved by the eurozone for a loan disbursement in compliance with Greece's continued austerity measures.

S&P could raise Greece's long-term debt rating if the country adheres to the EU/IMF Economic Adjustment Programs, which would provide stability to its policymaking and improve the country's economic sustainability.

"We could lower the ratings if we believe that there is a likelihood of a distressed exchange on Greece's remaining stock of commercial debt," the ratings firm warned.

Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF

(click image to enlarge)

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.