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Fitch affirms Philippines' ratings

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Fitch affirms Philippines' ratings

Fitch Ratings said April 8 that it affirmed the ratings ofthe Philippines, with a positiveoutlook, reflecting the country's robust external finances andfavorable macroeconomic growth performance.

The country's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuerdefault ratings were affirmed at BBB- and BBB, respectively. The countryceiling was affirmed at BBB and the short-term foreign-currency issuer defaultratings at F3.

The rating agency considers the Philippines' externalfinances as a rating strength, noting that the country has been runningcurrent-account surpluses since 2003. On the other hand, the country's lowaverage income and level of development is a credit weakness, according toFitch.

Fitch said sustained improvement in governance standards,further broadening of the government's revenue base and continued strong growthmay lead to a positive ratings action.

In contrast, deterioration in the governance standards andinstability in the financial system could be credit negative, though the ratingagency currently does not anticipate a material probability of negative actionover the forecast period.