PH remains underrated - Purisima
MANILA, Philippines - The recent upgrade of the Philippines to investment grade status by Fitch Ratings is great, but this still does not reflect how foreign investors view the country as an investment destination.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima stressed this in an interview on Rappler's #TalkThursday. He said that the international credit rating agencies -- especially the Big 3: Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's Investor Service -- lag behind the foreign investors' credit risk assessment of the country.
"The market rates [that reflect pricing on the Philippine credit risk] are already two notches above investment grade. We’re probably the most underrated country in the world," he said.
Fitch upgraded the Philippines' credit rating to 'BBB-' on March 27. This marked the first time in the Philippines' history that the country won an investment grade.
He also noted that Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCRA) and other credit rating agencies in Asia have rated the Philippines investment grade years ago.
"When we look at it from an external point of view, we’re a creditworthy country already. When we look at our fiscal situation, our deficit numbers are well under control. In fact our debt-to-GDP ratio are about 40.9%. When we look at our foreign debt-to-GDP, it’s even lower than that of Thailand, Malaysia, Korea. These are countries that are much higher rated than the Philippines," he added.
"Our goal is A, maybe even AAA. Singapore is AAA, why can’t we?"
Tune in to www.rappler.com on April 4 for the full interview. - Rappler.com