Standard and Poor affirms Malta's BBB+/A-2 rating

Friday, 19 Jul 2013, 12:03


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The credit agency Standard and Poor has affirmed the long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Malta's rating at 'BBB+/A-2' - outlook stable, a decision welcomed by the government.

In its commentary, S&P said the new government had a strong electoral mandate that favoured reforms.
"However, we believe tight public finances and a high debt burden will constrain the government's flexibility, particularly as we forecast growth will remain below pre-crisis levels.

"We are affirming our long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Malta at 'BBB+/A-2'.
The stable outlook balances our view of improving prospects for economic reform against Malta's recurrent fiscal and external deficits.
The transfer and convertibility assessment remains at 'AAA'.

S&P said the ratings were supported by its view of Malta's relatively strong institutional and governance effectiveness, and its prosperous economy.

However, a sizable government debt burden and external imbalances constrained the ratings.
"We note that the new Labour Party government is progressing with the details of a wide-ranging reform agenda. It is tackling long-standing issues such as energy sector reform, and health care and pension reforms.

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