Philippines keeps investment grade score from Moody's

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2019 04:28 PM

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MANILA - Moody's Investor Service on Friday said it kept its Baa2 rating and with"stable" outlook for the Philippines due to its strong fiscal position and "limited vulnerability" to external risks.

The country's "high" economic strength, "moderate" institutional strength and fiscal strength, and "low" susceptibility to event risks determined the country's credit profile, Moody's said in a statement. 

The Baa rating, one notch above minimum investment grade, is subject to moderate credit risks, according to Moody's rating scale. 

The government's economic and fiscal reforms as well as its "effective monetary policy" contributed to the overall macroeconomic stability and sound financial system, Moody's said. 

"The stable outlook on the Philippines' rating incorporates our view that strong GDP growth relative to rating peers could accelerate even further," Moody's said. 

Economic growth momentum is expected to further recover due to a sound banking system and if higher infrastructure investment is achieved, the statement said.

Moody's estimates that the country's gross domestic product could grow 5.8 percent in 2019, slower than the government target of 6 to 7 percent due to the budget delay early this year.

A modest rebound is expected next year, with an estimated GDP growth of 6.2 percent as the government's catch-up spending "spills" over to 2020. 

Climate change risks, however, can have an impact on the country's sovereign profile due to climate-related disasters, the statement said.

The World Bank on Thursday said the country's GDP could also grow 5.8 percent this year, missing the lower end of its target due to the budget delay and the public spending ban imposed before the mid-term elections in May.