On Tuesday, July 9, at the meeting of theEconomic and Financial Affairs Council(ECOFIN) of the European Union (EU) in Brussels the final decision to support the introduction of the euro in Latvia from 1 January 2014 was officially taken. The Minister for Finance Andris Vilks expresses his gratitude to all who have made huge efforts for the introduction of the euro as well as to everyone who has supported this goal and believed in it.
On June 28 on the second day of the European Union (EU) Council meeting the leaders of block countries and governments have expressed their support for Latvia’s accession to the eurozone. The Minister for Finance welcomes the fact that the work committed up to now is again approved on the whole European level.
On Monday, June 10, one of the largest international rating agencies Standard & Poor’s has taken a decision to raise Latvia’s credit rating by one degree, establishing stable rating forecast in the future. The assessment of our country for the long-term and short-term obligations in the local and foreign currency is raised from “BBB” to “BBB+” with stable rating forecast in the future (Outlook Stable).
On Wednesday, June 5, Latvia has received the Convergence Report prepared by the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank, in which it is indicated that all Maastricht criteria are fulfilled in order to join successfully to 17 eurozone states. Already on 1 January 2014 Latvia will become the eighteenth Member State of the eurozone.
The Ministers of Finance of the three Baltic states discussed euro area developments and enlargement, the economic situation in the region, priorities of the Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council, preparations for a new period (2014-2020) of the EU structural assistance and other issues.
On Friday, March 15th, the international rating agency Moody's Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s) has upgraded Latvia’s credit rating by one notch, establishing a positive future outlook for credit rating (Outlook Positive). Evaluation of Latvia for long-term obligations in foreign currency is upgraded from Baa3 to Baa2.
Year 2012 was very successful for the economy of Latvia and economic growth is substantially better than it was forecasted at the beginning of the last year. Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 has increased by 5,6%, prevailing the achieved 5,5% in 2011.
On Monday, March 4th, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Minister of Finance Andris Vilks and President of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvics have signed a letter requesting the extraordinary Convergence Report to the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to assess the readiness of Latvia to the membership in the eurozone.
Minister of Finance Andris Vilks is acknowledged as the best Minister of Finance 2012 in the European Region. High evaluation was provided by an international business and financial publication The Banker, highly approving of the work accomplished in stabilisation of Latvia’s financial situation and facilitation of growth.
On 5 December 2012, Latvia successfully priced long 7-year bonds in an amount of 1.25 billion US dollars with a coupon of 2.750 percent (yield rate of 2.889 percent) which is the lowest interest rate since Latvia first issued bonds in the international financial markets.
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