24 Mar 2011

French Polynesia wants ratings downgrade reversed

1:26 pm on 24 March 2011

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, has asked the ratings agency Standard and Poor's to revise its latest assessment.

This comes as the agency downgraded French Polynesia's rating from BBB- to BB+.

The agency noted the political instability and the dispute over the validity of the 2011 budget which is to be determined by France's highest administrative court.

In a statement, Mr Tong Sang says the agency has failed to analyse closely what his government has managed to achieve in the course of last year and chose instead to describe the political situation akin to a caricature.

He also says the agency is wrong to say his budget was passed in a regular budget session because it was rejected but in an extraordinary assembly sitting.

Mr Tong Sang has now flown to Paris but before leaving he told Tahitipresse that he would be having difficulty negotiating favourable lending terms with bankers against the background of the latest assessment.