PH Bags Landmark Fitch Credit Rating Upgrade

The Philippines received a credit rating upgrade to investment grade from global rating agency Fitch Ratings; a first in the country’s history.

An investment grade rating from global debt watcher Finch Ratings is a vote of confidence for global investors to pour in capital in the country. 

In a statement posted on the Fitch Ratings official site, the rating agency said that the “Philippine economy has been resilient, expanding 6.6% in 2012 amid a weak global economic backdrop.” 

According to Fitch, the Philippines’ long-term foreign currency IDR (issuer default rating) rose from BB+ to BBB-. The long-term local currency issuer default rating similarly rose from BBB- to BBB. 

Achieving investment grade is expected to lower the country’s borrowing cost which in turn would help increase savings opportunities for the government. 

Fitch said that the key drivers that pushed the credit rating upgrade include high remittances, persistent surplus in current account, and strong external balance sheets. 

The global rating agency also mentioned the reforms undertaken during the previous and current Philippine administrations which it explained helped lead to “favorable macroeconomic outturns.”

Fitch is the first global ratings agency to give the country an investment grade. The two other ratings agencies currently has the country just a below investment grade. Moody’s gave the Philippines a Ba1 rating while Standard & Poor’s placed the Philippines at BB+.