The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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Standard and Poor’s retains Malta’s stable rating, outlook

Malta Independent Friday, 17 January 2014, 09:30 Last update: about 10 years ago

Adds PL, PN statement

Standard and Poor’s today reaffirmed Malta’s stable outlook as well as its BBB+/A-2 rating.

In a statement published today the credit rating agency observed that the new administration, by means of effective governance, began registering concrete progress on its long-term reforms. These positive prospects for Malta led Standard & Poor’s to reaffirm a stable outlook for Malta.

Standard & Poor’s also affirmed that Malta is making good progress in its energy plan, and remarked that this reform will continue supporting economic growth, which is already improving and exceeding all expectations, including Standard & Poor’s own. The conversion to gas as an energy source will enable Government to lower the cost of the generation of electricity by as much as half.

In a statement the government said that its plan for the energy sector is unfolding in a manner that is strengthening the country’s financial position, so much so that the economic growth registered during 2013 exceeded all expectations.

The international credit rating agency further welcomed the Chinese investment which the Government secured for the state-owned enterprise Enemalta. Standard & Poor’s said that this investment will allow the Government to reduce the state-owned corporation’ losses, and consequently, the negative effect this has on Government finances.

This process, Standard & Poor’s remarked, is a positive sign that the Government will address long-term issues such as pensions, and greater female participation in the labour force.

It was the accumulation of debt that Standard & Poor’s reported as being the only factor which discouraged the credit rating agency from improving Malta’s credit rating. It further said that Malta’s assessment would be further improved if the Government proceeds with its agenda which prioritizes economic growth and, subsequently, reduction of the debt.

Standard & Poor’s analysis is a clear recognition of the Government’s efforts, the statement said.

The Government remains determined to, through responsible governance, keep creating wealth and ensuring that this wealth is distributed fairly among Malta’s hardworking population. So that Malta becomes stronger and fairer.

PL statement

In a statement, the PL said that the report by Standard and Poor’s shows that Malta is moving forward. This is proof that the negative campaign by Simon Busuttil and the PN against our country is not working.

“The Maltese economy grew in every aspect, and even exceeded the credit rating agency’s expectations.” The PL said that S&P had noted that the only thing preventing a better rating was all the debt accumulated by PN administrations.  

PN statement

The Nationalist Party welcomed the decision taken by Standard and Poor’s, which recognised the continuous efforts of the last years for the country to strengthen its economy.

The PN, through spokesman Tonio Fenech, however noted that the agency has criticised the government for its financial administration of the country, one which in the last six months pushed the European Commission to open an excessive deficit procedure against Malta. The 6% increase in public expenditure has been noted because this does not lead the agency to believe the government’s financial targets.

While noting that the economic growth is higher than predicted, the agency drew the government’s attention that it is still below the level reached during the economic crisis. The PN urged the government to come up with an economic plan that attracts productive investment to Malta.

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