'PH a step closer to investment grade'

Posted at 10/29/12 4:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government on Monday said  Moody's upgrade of the Philippines' credit rating is an affirmation of President Aquino's good governance agenda. 

Moody's upgraded the foreign and local currency long-term bond ratings of the Philippines by one notch to Ba1 from Ba2, citing the country's improved economic performance and continued fiscal revenue buoyancy. 

Economic managers expressed confidence the Philippines will soon attain the much coveted investment grade status. 

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima thanked Moody's for recognizing the Philippines' efforts to improve the economy. 

"This 9th positive ratings action is another affirmation of the President's agenda and our underlying belief that good governance is good economics. It has been a decade since all three major ratings agencies rated us a notch below investment grade," he said. 

In July, Standard and Poor's raised its rating on the Philippines to BB+. Fitch Ratings has it at the same level. 

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. expressed hope the Philippines will achieve investment grade sooner, rather than later.

"The BSP will continue to craft monetary, external and banking policies with the view of ensuring that the gains reaped so far will lead to the sustained improvement in the country's real GDP growth, financial sector responsiveness and external debt manageability in a non-inflationary environment," he said, in a statement.

"With the government's efforts and with the support of the private sector, the Philippines should achieve an investment grade credit rating sooner rather than later," Tetangco added.