Moody’s Investors Service this week became the third ratings agency after Fitch and Standard & Poor’s to assign a “below investment grade” rating for a $6bn Iraqi bond – the first to be issued by the country in close to nine years. A roadshow to market the bond is underway, having begun in London two weeks ago (MEES, 11 September).

Moody’s on 20 September assigned a provisional rating of (P) Caa1 to the Iraqi government’s planned bond with a stable outlook. A rating of Caa1 (one notch higher than B3) is usually judged to be of poor standing and subject to very high credit risk. In this instance, Moody’s initiated the rating, having not been requested to do so by the Iraqi government, and says that it will remove the provisional status of the rating “upon the closing of the proposed issuance, and a review of its final terms.” (CONTINUED - 670 WORDS)