MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines has achieved its first-ever investment grade rating after international debt watcher Fitch raised the country’s rating to BBB- from BB+.
Fitch Ratings — the first of the three major international debt watchers to upgrade the Philippines — also assigned a stable outlook for the country’s credit rating.
Fitch cited the country’s sovereign balance sheet as being comparable to those of ‘A’-rated nations, while a “persistend current account surplus, underpinned by remittance inflows” has made the country a “net creditor” from its previous deficit position.
FItch also noted the economy’s 6.6-percent economic growth for 2012 and the expected 5.5 percent growth for this year, both of which are “stronger and less volatile” that BBB-rated peers over the last five years.
“Improvements in fiscal management begun under President Arroyo have made general government debt dynamics more resilient to shocks,” Fitch said.