Wednesday 19 June, 2019

Gov’t engages new credit rating agency to review T&T’s sovereign debt

Finance Minister Colm Imbert received a visit from Fitch Ratings Incorporated (Fitch) on Monday.

Charles Seville, Senior Director and Co-Head of the Americas, Carlos Morales, Director and Daniel Pulido-Mendez, represented the Agency.

Also in attendance were the Permanent Secretaries, the Director of Budgets and Assistant Directors of the Economic Management Division of the Ministry of Finance.

Fitch is one of three global leaders in credit ratings and credit risk analysis along with Moody’s Investors Service (Moody's) and Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P).

Fitch is a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSRO) designated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975.

Fitch has dual headquarters in New York, United States of America, and London, United Kingdom. Over the past several years, Moody’s and S&P have been engaged by the Government to conduct credit ratings on its sovereign debt.

However, given recent variances in the credit ratings provided by Moody’s and S&P for Trinidad and Tobago, Cabinet conveyed approval for the engagement of Fitch to review Trinidad and Tobago's sovereign debt ratings and provide a initial/indicative rating and monitored rating of the country for the period May 1st 2018 to April 30, 2022 (a third rating).

During their visit, Fitch is expected to meet with other institutions in the public and private sectors. Real sector developments; fiscal and monetary policy; balance of payments; debt financing; exchange rate developments; the identification of potential vulnerabilities; and medium-term projections for key economic variables will be discussed during the consultations.

Additionally, discussions will also include policies that affect the country’s macroeconomic performance such as diversification policy, oil and gas tax reform, investment promotion and trade.

 At the end of the Mission, the Fitch delegation is expected to present its preliminary views on the outlook for the economy, and the major macroeconomic variables and indicators which inform its credit opinion.


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