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Malta Credit Rating Upgrade by S&P

Credit Agencies Upgrade Malta’s Rating

Malta Credit Rating Upgrade by S&P. The US based credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s has recently revised its long term rating for Malta, raising it from BBB+ to A-. The improved rating is driven by consistent GDP growth which is expected to average 3% during 2016 to 2019, increases in the productive labour supply as well as growths in both exports and investment. The improvement economic performance will also have a knock-on effect on the Country’s fiscal performance with general deficit below 1% for the 2016 – 2019 period, sustainable current account surpluses that will average 1.9% of FDP and a general improvement in Malta’s balance of payments and external accounts.

In its report, S&P also singled out the effect of large-scale projects in education, healthcare, tourism, and transport industries, as well as energy projects, including the conversion of power stations to cheaper energy sources and the gradual integration of Malta’s power system into the European grid as other contributing factors. The credit-rating agency stated that the country is in the forefront of a strong medium-term economic expansion in the Eurozone, having had the second-highest average GDP growth rate between 2010 to 2015 and the third-highest expected real GDP growth in the 2016 – 2019 period. The stable outlook reflects S&P’s view that the upside potential of Malta’s economic and fiscal performance is counterbalanced by downside risks related to Brexit, external flows, and the structure of the financial sector, particularly the size of its banking sector. It must be however said that the latter’s significance to the local economy is, to say the least, very contained.

Malta’s economy has transformed itself over the past twenty years with the emergence of new economic sectors. Malta is today a highly industrialised, service based economy. Its strengths are derived from its strategic location, its fully developed open market economy, a multilingual population, a productive labour force, low corporate taxes and well developed finance and ICT clusters.

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