- Last year, the country raised US$800 million on a ten-year bond issue, which is trading at a premium, and Jamaica is among the best performing countries in all of the emerging markets.
Jamaica’s credit rating will continue to improve as the country cements its credibility in the international investment community.
“In 2015, Jamaica will mostly likely receive rating upgrades from both Moody’s and S&P (Standard and Poor’s),” said Managing Director of the United States-based investment firm, Oppenheimer and Company Inc., Gregory Fisher.
He was addressing the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s (JSE) 10th regional conference on Investments and the Capital Markets held recently, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Mr. Fisher noted that the country went through an “incredibly difficult period”, including a massive global economic and financial crisis, without defaulting on its external debt.
He said that due to the Government’s strict adherence to the Economic Reform Programme (ERP), Jamaica has all but completed its credibility rebuilding in the entire global community.
Last year, the country raised US$800 million on a ten-year bond issue, which is trading at a premium, and Jamaica is among the best performing countries in all of the emerging markets.
Mr. Fisher said that both Moody’s and S&P have a positive outlook on the country’s rating “thus the credibility rebuilding exercise is well on its way with respect to the rating agencies”.
The Oppenheimer executive said that credibility is a crucial element when it comes to the world’s perception of Jamaica’s risk, noting that domestic and foreign consumers and investors must also be convinced that the economy is on solid ground.
“It is only when these people become convinced that Jamaica’s economy and finances are on solid and stable footing that consumption and Jamaica’s prospects will go even further. This process can be even more powerful than reducing the debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio, than all the fiscal austerity you can imagine,” he contended.
Mr. Fisher urged the Government to stay on the path to prosperity while adhering to the necessary guidelines that have been outlined under the ERP. He also applauded the Jamaican people for their role in the process.
“The hard choices have been made and the painful medicine has subsequently been swallowed. Don’t stop now, because you are almost at the finish line. The global community has taken notice and Jamaica has now gone from a problem credit to one that is now leading the pack,” he said.