ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Credit rating firm Standard & Poor's on Tuesday lifted Greece's credit grade significantly, but left its bonds in junk status.
S&P lowered Greece's rating to selective default early in the month as it initiated a debt buyback program, CNNMoney reported.
With that buyback completed and with the recent approval of a $65 billion bailout loan disbursement, S&P jumped Greece's rating up six notches to B-minus.
Despite facing major economic headwinds -- six years of recession and an unemployment rate of 25 percent -- S&P said the region's commitment to keeping Greece in the eurozone was a good sign.
"We view the eurozone member states' decision to provide material cash flow relief to Greece as indicative of their determination to restore stability to Greek finances, and to preserve Greece's eurozone membership," S&P said.
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