Malta Retains ‘A’ Fitch Rating
LONDON, September 12
Affirms Malta’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDRs) at ‘A’. The Outlooks are Stable. The issue ratings on Malta’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at ‘A’. The agency has also affirmed Malta’s Short-term foreign-currency IDR at ‘F1′ and the Country Ceiling at ‘AAA’.
As one of the most stable and one of the few EU jurisdictions to report increased growth, Malta’s economy has received added boost by retaining its ‘A’ Fitch credit rating. As Fitch states in respect of 2013: [Malta's] “economy grew by 2.9%, better than 2012 (1.1%) and higher than the euro zone average (negative 0.4%).”
Further praise by Fitch that Malta’s economic growth will continue to outperform the euro zone, averaging at 2.5% in 2015-16.
- 1H14 real GDP grew by 3.5%
- Expects above potential growth averaging 2.5% in 2015-16, continuing above the eurozone average
- Unemployment rate of 5.7% in July was below both the ‘A’ median and the eurozone average
- General government gross debt (GGGD) peaked at 72% of GDP in 2013 (73% in 2014-15 previously) and will decline marginally in the medium term, reaching 70% of GDP by 2020
The rating, was welcomed by Malta’s Minister for Finance, Prof. Edward Scicluna, stating “Fitch’s country rating for Malta, wherein it reaffirmed Malta at ‘A’ with a stable outlook, confirms the country’s economic growth as sustainable and geared to keep outperforming other EU states on GDP growth and employment” and that “Fitch projects the deficit to decline further to 2.5% of GDP in 2014 and 2015. Nevertheless, Government is confident that Malta will again exceed various international institution’s expectations with regard to the deficit-to-GDP ratio, and we remain committed to reducing the deficit to 2.1 per cent as targeted in the 2014 Budget”.
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