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6/4/16

Finland: Moody's cuts Finland's last triple-A rating

Finland lost its last top-grade credit rating on Friday as Moody's downgraded it to Aa1 with a stable outlook, citing weak economic growth and its negative impact on the general government debt ratio.

Once known for prudent fiscal policy and innovation, the Nordic country's economy has underperformed its euro zone peers in recent years for reasons including high labour costs, the decline of Nokia's former phone business and a recession in neighbouring Russia.

"The economy is showing some signs of positive momentum with a return to positive growth in 2015 following three years of recession. However, growth over the next five years will remain weak," Moody's said in its report.

Fitch downgraded Finland to Aa+ with a stable outlook in March, while Standard & Poor's cut its rating for the country to AA+ in 2014, later giving the rating a negative outlook.

Long proud of its top grade ratings, Finland took a hard line against euro zone bailouts during the currency bloc's debt crisis.

This year, the European Commision expects Finland's economy to expand by 0.7 percent, less than any other EU country except Greece.

Read more: Moody's cuts Finland's last triple-A rating

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