The Ministry for Finance has said in a statement this morning that, “Malta’s high national income per head, robust economic growth, large net external creditor position, and strong governance indicators led to another positive credit rating, this time by Fitch Ratings.”
The Credit Rating Agency has affirmed Malta’s credit rating at A+ with a stable outlook.
Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna remarked, “this positive rating, released just after the upward revision in Malta’s growth forecasts by the EU, further confirms yet again that Malta is in for more years of success that will be enjoyed by all.”
The Ministry said that, “Fitch acknowledges that the Government over-achieved its Medium-Term Objective three years ahead of schedule in 2016 and recognises the Government’s intention to maintain a fiscal surplus net of IIP revenues over the coming years.”
The Rating Agency also forecasts public spending to remain fairly stable and expects the debt ratio to decline to below 50 per cent this year, supported by high nominal GDP growth and ongoing expected fiscal surpluses.
The report said that it expects the increased absorption of EU funds and the launching of large projects in health and education sectors to contribute positively to growth in investment.
It also notes that the Malta Development Bank, which will support SME financing and large infrastructure projects, could further lift investment and help remove structural bottlenecks in the economy.
The Ministry pointed out that Fitch positively notes that, “the structural shift of the economy towards more service oriented and less investment intensive-sectors will lead to a sustained current account surplus and hence a robust external position.”
The Agency also noted that the Maltese banking sector remains sound with robust capitalisation and liquidity ratios and an improving asset quality, the Finance Ministry said.
The Ministry concluded by saying that “Fitch expects the Maltese economy to grow faster than the ‘A’ median five-year average boosted by strong domestic demand on the back of declining unemployment and increases in wages.”