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Moody's assigns Ba3 to Philippine global bond

January 06, 2010 | Moody's Investors Service

Singapore, January 06, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a foreign currency rating of Ba3 with a stable outlook to the government of the Philippines' forthcoming global bond issuance.

The Philippines rating is supported by the country's fortified external payments position and a relatively sound and liquid banking system, which poses manageable risks to the government's balance sheet. The historically high level of official foreign exchange reserves -- in part bolstered by resilient overseas remittances -- helps to buffer the economy and government finances from external shocks. As a result, the peso has been relatively stable this year.

The stable outlook is also influenced by relatively mild inflationary pressures and the ability of the country's central bank to anchor inflationary expectations under its formal inflation-targeting framework. Moody's expects that inflation will probably remain within Bangko Sentral's target range of 4.5 percent with a tolerance interval of + / - 1.0 percentage point for 2010.

"Low inflation and a stable exchange rate are crucial for the government's debt affordability," says Tom Byrne, a Moody's Senior Vice President and Regional Credit Officer.

"Nevertheless, the Ba3 rating on the government's foreign and local currency bonds also reflects the country's large public-sector debt overhang, which leaves government finances vulnerable from domestic policy slippage, or external shocks, such as a rise in global inflation," notes Byrne.

"Furthermore, tax revenues have weakened beyond initial projections for the 2009 budget and the headline deficit may have widened to 3.8 percent of GDP in 2009, although the primary balance (excluding interest payments) may have remained in a slight surplus," adds Byrne.

"In the current environment, the challenge for the authorities will be to minimize the damage from the global recession, while operating under relatively constrained fiscal conditions," says Byrne.

"Accordingly, although economic growth is being adversely affected by global conditions and fiscal performance has slipped, a continued commitment to public-sector fiscal reform and consolidation would bode well for the country's long-term macro- prospects and credit fundamentals," concludes Byrne.

The last rating action on Philippines was taken on 23 July 2009, when Moody's raised the Government of the Philippines' rating to Ba3 from B1.

The principal methodology used in rating the government of the Philippines is Moody's Sovereign Bond Methodology, which can be found at in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Società: Philippines

Nome completo della societàRepublic of the Philippines
Paese di registrazionePhilippines


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