articles Ratings /ratings/en/research/articles/191003-bulletin-early-signs-suggest-the-bahamas-is-well-positioned-to-handle-ongoing-fallout-from-hurricane-dorian-11183827 content
Log in to other products

Login to Market Intelligence Platform


Looking for more?

Request a Demo

You're one step closer to unlocking our suite of comprehensive and robust tools.

Fill out the form so we can connect you to the right person.

If your company has a current subscription with S&P Global Market Intelligence, you can register as a new user for access to the platform(s) covered by your license at Market Intelligence platform or S&P Capital IQ.

  • First Name*
  • Last Name*
  • Business Email *
  • Phone *
  • Company Name *
  • City *
  • We generated a verification code for you

  • Enter verification Code here*

* Required

In This List

Bulletin: Early Signs Suggest The Bahamas Is Well Positioned To Handle Ongoing Fallout From Hurricane Dorian

Bulletin: Early Signs Suggest The Bahamas Is Well Positioned To Handle Ongoing Fallout From Hurricane Dorian

TORONTO (S&P Global Ratings) Oct. 3, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today said it continues to evaluate the short-to-medium-term credit effect, if any, of Hurricane Dorian on The Commonwealth of the Bahamas (BB+/Stable/B). Preliminary information available to us suggests that the long-term effects of the hurricane on credit quality could be limited, provided that the government is able to respond in a timely manner to the various challenges posed by the natural disaster.

Hurricane Dorian made landfall at Abaco and Grand Bahama, two islands in the northern part of The Bahamas, on Sept. 1, 2019. The hurricane severely damaged Abaco, and to a lesser extent, Grand Bahama. While the damage has been confined to those two islands, they represent about 15%-20% of Bahamian GDP.

Despite the significant damage to Abaco and Grand Bahama, several factors suggest that the long-term effects of the hurricane on The Bahamas' credit quality could be limited. The hurricane struck outside of peak tourist season, and the physical damage was concentrated on two islands that together attract only about 20% of tourists. Other destinations within the country, including Nassau, the capital and economic center, were unaffected. Furthermore, before the hurricane, the country had been on track to achieve good GDP growth in 2019, slightly exceeding our forecast. The government also recently reported a relatively strong fiscal performance in 2019 (year ended June 30). Based on the information currently available, the timing and location of the hurricane's impact, and the country's relatively strong economic and fiscal performance year to date, it is possible that Dorian may not lead to a meaningful deterioration in The Bahamas' economy, fiscal performance, debt burden, and external assessment.

Nevertheless, this event highlights the importance of considering environmental factors in our analysis of The Bahamas, given its location in the Atlantic hurricane belt, and the large geographic dispersion of its 700 islands over almost 14,000 square kilometers. In the past five years, The Bahamas has been affected by at least four other serious hurricanes. We believe this elevated environmental risk has contributed to below-average growth for The Bahamas, when compared with peers with similar GDP per capita. The Bahamas has taken steps to mitigate the risks related to increasingly frequent climate disasters by strengthening its public finances, planning for these events, and obtaining insurance. Despite these efforts, vulnerability to natural disasters continues to affect the country's creditworthiness.

We will continue to follow the developments and pace of recovery efforts, including the government's ability to respond effectively to the many challenges of recovery. We will focus particularly on the implications for long-term economic growth, government finances, debt burden, and the country's external position. We could lower the rating if we come to expect that public finances deteriorate compared with medium-term expectations, either because of the fiscal impact of the hurricane or weakened political commitment to fiscal sustainability.

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Primary Credit Analyst:Jennifer Love, CFA, Toronto + 1 (416) 507 3285;
Secondary Contact:Julia L Smith, Toronto (1) 416-507-3236;

No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P). The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. S&P and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents (collectively S&P Parties) do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content. S&P Parties are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for the results obtained from the use of the Content, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an “as is” basis. S&P PARTIES DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT’S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

Credit-related and other analyses, including ratings, and statements in the Content are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact. S&P’s opinions, analyses and rating acknowledgment decisions (described below) are not recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. S&P assumes no obligation to update the Content following publication in any form or format. The Content should not be relied on and is not a substitute for the skill, judgment and experience of the user, its management, employees, advisors and/or clients when making investment and other business decisions. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. Rating-related publications may be published for a variety of reasons that are not necessarily dependent on action by rating committees, including, but not limited to, the publication of a periodic update on a credit rating and related analyses.

To the extent that regulatory authorities allow a rating agency to acknowledge in one jurisdiction a rating issued in another jurisdiction for certain regulatory purposes, S&P reserves the right to assign, withdraw or suspend such acknowledgment at any time and in its sole discretion. S&P Parties disclaim any duty whatsoever arising out of the assignment, withdrawal or suspension of an acknowledgment as well as any liability for any damage alleged to have been suffered on account thereof.

S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain non-public information received in connection with each analytical process.

S&P may receive compensation for its ratings and certain analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge), and and (subscription), and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at

Any Passwords/user IDs issued by S&P to users are single user-dedicated and may ONLY be used by the individual to whom they have been assigned. No sharing of passwords/user IDs and no simultaneous access via the same password/user ID is permitted. To reprint, translate, or use the data or information other than as provided herein, contact S&P Global Ratings, Client Services, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041; (1) 212-438-7280 or by e-mail to:

Register with S&P Global Ratings

Register now to access exclusive content, events, tools, and more.

Go Back