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Philippines secures investment grade rating from Fitch




Posted on March 28, 2013 12:13:39 AM | BREAKING NEWS



INTERNATIONAL debt watcher Fitch Ratings today raised the country's credit rating to investment grade -- a first for the Philippines.

In a statement, the credit rater said it had raised the country’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) to 'BBB-' -- a notch into investment grade -- from 'BB+'. It also raised the Philippines' long-term local-currency IDR to 'BBB' from 'BBB-'.

With an investment grade rating, the country is expected to attract more foreign direct investors, gain access to a larger source of funding, and reduce its borrowing costs.

In upgrading the country, Fitch cited the country’s robust economy, strong external balance sheet, improvements in the government’s fiscal management program, and the central bank’s appropriate use of monetary policy to support growth.

The credit rater however said that to sustain this rating, the government must be able to continue pushing its good governance efforts and expand its revenue base to have the capacity to increase public investment.

A team from Fitch Ratings visited the country last month to assess developments.

The two other major credit raters, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, currently rate the country a notch below investment grade. -- Bettina Faye V. Roc