22 Dec 2009

Despite upgrade, rating agency warns Fiji

4:03 pm on 22 December 2009

The rating agency, Standard and Poor's, is continuing to warn of constraints on improvements to Fiji's economic prospects despite a decision to revise its economic outlook upward.

The rating has moved from negative to stable, and the credit and currency ratings have been affirmed at B minus to C.

But Standard and Poor's says any future ratings improvement is constrained by political instability, insufficient available data to make full assessments and poor external relationships that hamper both investment and the outlook for tourism.

But Fiji's Reserve Bank Governor, Sada Reddy, says the international view of Fiji's economy is improving:

"The financial conditions in the country are pretty stable. None of the banks have in anyway been affected, generally the economy is on sound footing, fiscal policy has ben quite responsible, monetary policy has been timely so in this sense this tends to give a very positive signal to the international community in the manner in which we manage the economy."

Fiji's Reserve Bank Governor, Sada Reddy

Standard and Poor's said it revised the outlook upward because the pressures on Fiji's reserves have receded due to a recovering tourism sector and less volatile political environment.

Other positives included effective use of capital controls, the depreciation of the Fiji dollar and an allocation of Special Drawing Rights by the IMF.