S&P raises PH credit rating anew

MANILA, Philippines – Standard and Poor's on Thursday, May 8 upgraded the Philippines' sovereign credit rating, saying gains from structural reforms will likely be sustained beyond the Aquino administration's term.

S&P raised the Philippines' rating to BBB from BBB-, with a stable outlook.

The upgrade follows the agency's May 2013 decision to give the Philippines an investment grade rating. It is the 18th positive rating action since President Benigno Aquino III took office in 2010 and the 4th upgrade from S&P, according to the Department of Finance.

"We expect ongoing reforms on a broad range of structural, administrative, institutional and governance issues to endure beyond the term of the current administration," S&P said. (READ: S&P: PH rating upgrade depends on reforms)

The agency expressed optimism that revenue generation gains, spending efficiency and improvements in the country's debt profile and investment climate would be sustained.

It also cited the country's strong external liquidity and sound monetary policy that has allowed inflation and interest rates to remain low.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said, "we are very pleased that S&P has recognized the Philippines' remarkable economic comeback."

"This is further proof of President Aquino's belief that good governance is good economics. We will continue to institutionalize good governance so our country's economic growth is both sustainable and inclusive," he added.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. also welcomed the upgrade. "This is a major feat as S&P did a straight upgrade. They no longer assigned a positive outlook before upgrading the rating."

Tetangco said the upgrade was an "affirmation of the country's strong macroeconomic fundamentals."

The Philippine economy grew 7.2% in 2013, one of the fastest in Asia, despite a string of disasters that hit the country. – Rappler.com