Credit rating upgrade 'a vote of confidence' on Philippines: economist

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2019 04:35 PM | Updated as of May 01 2019 05:14 PM

A bank teller counts Philippine peso for a client selling US dollars in Manila. Romeo Gacad/AFP/File

NADI, Fiji – S&P Global's decision to upgrade the Philippines credit rating is “a vote of confidence” on Manila's prudent policy and its ability to withstand shocks, an economist said Wednesday.

The debt-watcher raised the Philippines score by one notch to BBB+, the third lowest investment grade rating or 3 notches above the minimum investment grade score.

"The main effect of this upgrade in rating is that it’ll be much easier now for the Philippines to approach the market," ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Office chief economist Hoe Ee Khor told ANC on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s 52nd Annual Meeting here.

"It’s a sign of confidence of the market in the Philippines’ resilience, the ability to withstand shock and also its relatively prudent approach to policy making," Khor added. 

Macroeconomic Office chief economist Hoe Ee Khor speaks to ANC's Cathy Yang on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s 52nd Annual Meeting. ABS-CBN News

The upgrade was “well-deserved” after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas raised the benchmark borrowing rate by 175 basis points in 2018 to tame inflation, he said. Inflation slowed for the fifth straight month in March.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Philippines has “a little bit” of space to ease policy rates when “the situation is right” or when inflation is firmly anchored, he said.

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