Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) said on Thursday that it is reviewing Philippine government bond and currency ratings for a possible upgrade, citing the nation's recent record of strong economic growth, political stability and debt management.
In recent months, the Philippines has seen significant economic success. Its first-quarter GDP growth for 2013 beat out China’s, at 7.8 percent, though unemployment there remains high.
Further debt reduction and continued investment flows into the Philippines will likely lead to an upgrade, Moody's said.
The rating agency could also boost the country’s foreign currency and central bank liability ratings. Remarkably, the Philippines’ banking system is the only banking sector in the world deemed by Moody’s to have a positive outlook.
The Philippines is now rated Ba1, and the upgrade could see that shift to Baa, an investment-grade rating.
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Fitch Ratings Inc. and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC, two other leading credit agencies, both upgraded the Philippines’ ratings to investment-suitable status earlier this year.
“Since Moody’s last rating action on 29 October 2012, the Philippines’ economic performance has exceeded Moody’s expectations, supporting the view that the economy will grow significantly faster than similarly rated peers over at least the next two to three years,” said the agency in a statement.
According to Moody’s, the Philippines saw 6.8 percent GDP growth in 2012, with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 32.3 percent.