The Isle of Man has retained its 'AAA' sovereign credit rating from leading international rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

It is the highest rating they can award and directly relates to the Government's management of the economy, in particular the ratio of reserves to public spending which is a key element in its ability to manage any downturn in the global economy which may affect growth on the Island.

Standard & Poor's says: 'The Isle of Man Government's overall robust financial position and policy flexibility should enable the Island to weather the ongoing challenges in the global economic environment.'

Moody's underscores the Isle of Man's move to make up to £150 million of Government funds available to depositors under the newly revised Depositors' Compensation Scheme: 'This is clearly manageable set against free reserves and projected capital spending without significantly weakening the current finances of the Government.'

As part of the Isle of Man's international relations building programme, a team of officials from the Isle of Man Government recently travelled to Washington and held talks with officials who were said to have been 'impressed with the Island's

Cautious and measured

This represents the best possible news for the Island at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the world's financial markets and validates the Isle of Man's cautious and measured approach to producing more than two decades of continuous economic growth.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell said: 'I welcome the fact that Moody's and Standard & Poor's have reviewed their ratings and both concluded that the Isle of Man is well placed to ride out the recent storms and be able to withstand any future global economic downturn.

'We continue to attract global investment precisely because of our stable public finances and ability to respond quickly when required.' Both agencies are highly respected position' regarding its international relations.

On his return the Treasury Minister Allan Bell reported that the talks were constructive and provided an excellent opportunity to present the Isle of Man case in terms of its international standing.

"Isle of Man continues to work as internationally and their opinion of the current state of various world economies acts as a significant pointer to investors as to the suitability of investing in either government issued debt or the wider national economy.

'Triple A' is the highest possible rating awarded and provides access to cheaper borrowing. It is also a vital marketing tool for inward investment - as well as promoting a positive national identity and reputation for the Island.

And most importantly, this measure of external verification of the Island's finances helps further develop its relations with the global financial community including its relationship with the United Kingdom and enforces the message that the Isle of Man employs the best practice in the management and governance of all its international affairs. closely as possible with international bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to demonstrate that the Island is at the fore-front of transparency and international cooperation." he said.

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