Barbados is back!
That is what Senior Economic Advisor to the Barbados Government, Dr. Kevin Greenidge, said S&P’s significant upgrade indicates to the world.
On Wednesday, December 11, S&P upgraded Barbados’ credit rating on its foreign currency debt from “Selective Default” to “B-”, which is an upward movement on the ratings scale of six notches.
Dr. Greenidge stressed that the upgrade was quite an achievement for Barbados in such a short time frame, as the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme was only just a year old.
“It serves to further reduce uncertainty and improve prospects for investment, which augurs well for growth…. The upgrade sends a strong statement that BERT is working and speaks to the strength of the adjustment programme and reforms being undertaken.
“The report from S&P speaks to the outlook being ‘stable’ as opposed to ‘negative’ a year ago, and is indicative of the government’s commitment to continue to implement policies that achieve fiscal sustainability. Indeed, the report states that if the government adheres to its ambitious fiscal targets and reform agenda, then it can expect further upgrades over the next year,” he stated.
Dr. Greenidge explained that the upgrade reflects in large part the conclusion of the external debt restructuring, which was finalized yesterday with Barbados exchanging just over $1 billion in new bonds (with a 26 per cent haircut).
“Public debt is now on a clear and stable downward trajectory towards the medium-term target of 80 per cent debt/GDP by 2027/28, and 60 per cent by 2033/34,” he pointed out.