President Benigno Aquino III
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 28, 2013) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he is elated over the latest Fitch Group announcement that the country’s Investment Grade Status has been upgraded from BB+ to BBB-.
“This marks the first time in history that our nation has been granted investment grade status by a major credit ratings agency,” he said, adding “this means much more than lower interest rates on our debt and more investors buying our securities.”
Aquino, in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner, said greater access to low-cost funds gives more fiscal space to sustain and further improve on social protection, defense, and economic stimulus, among others.
He said: “More companies in the real economy can now consider us an investment destination. Investment grade for sovereign debt should also lead to lower borrowing costs for Philippine companies in the international markets, consequently allowing for higher valuations for their securities.”
“This in turn enables industries to expand and generate more jobs for our countrymen - fostering a virtuous cycle of growth, empowerment, and inclusiveness that will redound to the benefit of Filipinos across all sectors of society.”
Aquino said the upgrade represents the perception of lessening risk in the markets and it formalizes the investment grade level at which the Philippines has already been securing credit.
“This is an institutional affirmation of our good governance agenda: Sound fiscal management and integrity-based leadership have led to a resurgent economy in the face of uncertainties in the global arena. It serves to encourage even greater interest and investments in our country,” he said.
He said it is one among many other positive developments that demonstrates the reclamation of the national pride. He said what was once known as the perennial laggard of Asia is taking off, and is accelerating towards its goal of an equitably progressive society.
“The task now is to ensure that expected inflows will be used to maximum effect towards a sustainable, progressively empowering economy. We are determined to build on our economic gains to usher in a society wherein every Filipino, today and for generations to come, may be given the wherewithal to realize their full potential,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)