German credit rating agency Creditreform Rating AG assigned an
A+ long-term sovereign rating to
Malta and described its outlook as stable.
Creditreform Rating AG, which forms part of the worldwide
operating Creditreform Group, was established in 2000 and is
considered as one of the leading rating agencies in Europe.
In its report published earlier today, Creditreform said the
positive sovereign rating was based on "Malta's high level
of creditworthiness mainly based on its strong macroeconomic
performance and strong fiscal sustainability."
The report highlighted the fact that Malta's potential
growth is among the highest of all euro area members, and that such
dynamic growth, which is backed by a buoyant labour market, is
supporting Malta's income convergence towards the EU-28
average. Creditreform expects favourable growth prospects for the
Maltese economy in the coming years, supported by moderate growth
in investment and growth in private consumption reflecting further
improvements in labour market conditions and wage growth.
Furthermore, it confirmed that Malta's current fiscal
consolidation is expected to progress in 2016-17, with potential
risks vis-ŕ-vis its large banking sector seeming to be
broadly contained. It also views ongoing pension reform efforts as
essential to warrant long-term fiscal sustainability.
Malta was also praised for its "strong institutional
framework" and its efforts at addressing the high stock of
non-performing loans, NPLs and improving access to funding
especially for SMEs through the implementation of various reforms
including the central credit register and the Maltese Development
Bank. Creditreform also noted that Malta is in line with its euro
area peers as regards to the quality of regulation and the
perceived level of corruption.
Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said that: "We are
happy to note that the first rating on Malta by this German rating
agency is very positive and consonant with the other four rating
(Source: PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR
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