JIS News

Reacting to the over 99% participation success rate of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX), Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on Wednesday (February 24) upgraded Jamaica’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit rating to “B-” from “SD”.
The “B” rating means the country currently has the capacity to meet its financial obligations, but faces major ongoing uncertainties that could impact its financial commitment on the obligation. The “SD” (selective default) rating was assigned on January 14.
The rating outlook was also raised from “Negative” to “Stable”, and the agency assigned a rating of “B-” to the new bonds issued under the JDX.
S&P attributed the ratings revision to their expectation of “Jamaica’s fiscal performance to improve somewhat in 2010”, based on the Government’s implementation of “a series of fiscal reforms” under their Macroeconomic Programme, including the recent approval of the US$1.27 billion IMF Stand-By Arrangement and the JDX to achieve macroeconomic stability.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, in welcoming the upgrade, expressed satisfaction with the decision by S&P.
“The upgrade by Standard & Poor’s, at this time, signals confidence in the Government’s aggressive policy actions and will help to boost confidence among international and local investors,” he said. The S&P ratings upgrade follows the February 16 upgrade by Fitch.
Standard & Poor’s is a financial services company, whose products and services include credit ratings, equity research, S&P indices, funds ratings, risk solutions, governance services, evaluations, and data services.