Fitch helps Philippines to first ever investment grade | News | DW | 27.03.2013
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Fitch helps Philippines to first ever investment grade

Fitch Ratings has announced it has promoted the Philippines' credit assessment after acknowledging the country's economic and government reforms over the past few years. Manila viewed the move as an investment boost.

Ratings agency Fitch reported Wednesday it had granted the Philippines investment-grade credit rating. It marked the country's first hike to such a status by any of the three major ratings agencies.

Fitch argued the move came on the back of the Philippines' improved fiscal management and in light of its growing economy.

"The Philippine economy has been resilient, expanding to 6.6 percent in 2012 amid a weak global economic backdrop," the agency said in a statement posted on its website.

Reward for reforms

Fitch announced it had raised the country's key long-term foreign currency issuer default ratings to "BBB-," or investment grade, from "BB+" and added it expected the nation to continue performing strongly with 5.5-percent growth in the current year.

The agency also welcomed the reform drive of the current government in Manila. "Governance reform has been a centerpiece of the Aquino administration's policy efforts," Fitch commented.

President Benigno Aquino III viewed the upgrade as a vote of confidence in his administration's economic policies and the country's "integrity-based leadership."

The improved rating will allow the Philippines to borrow money on capital markets at lower interest rates. "It will give us more fiscal space to sustain and further improve our social protection, defense and economic stimulus measures," Aquino maintained.

hg/hc (dpa, AFP, AP)