19 Sep 2014

Ratings agency 'unfazed' by vote outcome

4:21 pm on 19 September 2014

International credit rating agency Standard and Poor's says it will be unfazed by whatever the outcome of tomorrow's general election.

businessmen on nz

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Labour and the Greens have rejected National's claims that the Opposition's tax and spend plans would put future budget surpluses at risk, arguing they are commited to fiscal prudence.

An associate director at Standard and Poor's, Craig Michaels, said today it is unlikely to change its assessment of New Zealand's creditworthiness, regardless of who comes out on top after tomorrow's vote.

"We think both sides of government have very similar agendas in terms of fiscal policy and so that's unlikely to be a factor that's moving, from our perspective.

"We see the electorate in New Zealand also as supportive of governments running sound finances, and that's something that's also a positive. Overall, we see very little chance that our assesment will change because of the election."

The ratings agency left New Zealand's credit rating unchanged at AA with a stable outlook last month.

Mr Michaels said the agency remains worried about the country's high level of indebtedness and its reliance on the Chinese market and commodities.

Other rating agencies Moody's and Fitch have highlighted New Zealand's strong institutions and the Government's improving financial position.

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