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Fitch upgrades Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | February 25, 2014 | 4:30 PM

Fitch Ratings today upgraded Jamaica’s long term foreign currency and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to B- from CCC.

The ratings agency also raised the short-term foreign currency rating from C to B and the Country Ceiling from B- to B, the Ministry of Finance and Planning said in a release.

The outlook was also upgraded to Stable.

Fitch indicated that the ratings were supported by reduced financing risks due to fiscal consolidation and the lengthening of domestic debt repayments, the Ministry said.

In addition, the rating were supported by the successful completion of two reviews under the economic support programme with the International Monetary Fund, as well as the satisfaction of all quantitative targets and structural benchmarks for the third review.

The ratings were also supported by preservation of broad macroeconomic and financial stability, the declining path of Jamaica’s debt-to-gross domestic product ration due to the National Debt Exchange executed in February 2013, an increase in the primary surplus, modest economic recovery, and access to multilateral funding which has eased external financing constraints.

“The Government welcomes the positive rating action of Fitch Ratings and is committed to continued improvement in Jamaica’s fiscal and debt operations, thereby facilitating further economic recovery and positive growth,” the Ministry said.