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Standard and Poor’s affirms Malta’s rating at A-/A-2 with a Positive Outlook

The Ministry for Finance welcomes the latest credit rating published by Standard and Poor’s affirming Malta’s Rating at A-/A-2 with a Positive Outlook.

The Ministry for Finance welcomes the latest credit rating published by Standard and Poor’s affirming Malta’s Rating at A-/A-2 with a Positive Outlook.

According to Standard and Poor’s, Malta’s positive rating is attributed to “its strong growth performance, recurring current account surpluses driven by its large services exports, and the Government’s improving budgetary and debt positions, and fiscal management.”

Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna stated that “we will remain fully committed to sustain our economic and fiscal success while strengthening the regulatory and supervisory standards of Malta’s institutions.”

Indeed, the credit rating report acknowledges the Maltese authorities’ efforts to strengthen supervisory standards and their cooperation with the EBA. It refers to the FIAU’s submission of the action plan to the EBA, which included an increase in the overall budget and staff of FIAU to accommodate the AML initiatives, as an example in this regard.

Standard and Poor’s expects the Maltese economy to continue to expand at a fast pace with GDP growth likely to exceed that of countries with similar income levels and stages of development. This, it adds, reflects the authorities’ commitment to policies incentivising investment and hiring.

The credit rating report notes that Malta’s real GDP growth accelerated to 7.7 per cent on average in the 2014 to 2018 period. It also notes that the structural shifts in the economy have created new employment opportunities while reducing the unemployment rate to 3.8 per cent in 2018, the lowest in two decades.

Standard and Poor’s acknowledge that the Government has consolidated its finances, reduced general government debt relative to GDP, and undertaken several structural reforms, notably those that have reduced the country’s energy bill and increased female participation in the labour market. 

The credit rating agency further anticipates that macroeconomic policymaking will remain geared toward further fiscal consolidation. Indeed, they expect fiscal surpluses to continue in the coming years allowing the ratio of government debt to GDP to continue to decline.

 

Source: Press Release by the Ministry for Finance

Published: 16 September 2019

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