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Finance Ministry responds to ratings review

The Ministry of Finance has issued a statement in response to Moody’s rating agency's decision to place The Bahamas’ Baa3 ratings on review for downgrade. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Ministry of Finance has issued a statement in response to Moody’s rating agency’s decision to place The Bahamas’ Baa3 ratings on review for downgrade.

In a statement, the Ministry said that it acknowledges the decision by Moody’s to place The Bahamas’ ratings on review for downgrade given the extreme strain placed on the recovering Bahamian economy by the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

“This comes at a time when the entire world is going through economic turmoil. No country is being spared by the unprecedented public health and economic crisis.”

The statement released April 10, goes on to say:

“The timing of the Moody’s review is unfortunate, but the announcement is not surprising due to the economic shock of Covid-19 on the global economy. Large and small countries alike, and multinationals, are facing predictable reviews. In fact, in late March, ratings agency Fitch Ratings downgraded the UK’s sovereign rating.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said: “As for The Bahamas, the government is always mindful to secure the long-term fiscal stability of the country, mitigating any risks to our secure and prosperous future. During this crisis we will continue to conduct the nation’s fiscal affairs in a manner that is responsible.”

“At the same time, we have demonstrated with our response to Hurricane Dorian, and our initial response to Covid-19 economic fall-out, that we will take aggressive actions in the short-term to protect the social and economic welfare of the Bahamian people.”

“We will reprioritise and allocate sufficient resources to ensure the Bahamian people are supported through these uncertain times,” said Minister Turnquest.

The Minister previously announced in the House of Assembly that the new fiscal demands associated with the Covid-19 response were expected to exert additional pressure on anticipated deficit numbers for the current fiscal year.

“Despite the challenging times ahead and the need for significant fiscal adjustments, the government has demonstrated by its track record and strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, its ability to overcome economic hardship, restore fiscal stability, and to drive economic growth even in difficult circumstances,” said Minister Turnquest.

Butterfield bank has announced that it will release first quarter 2020 financial results following the close of the New York Stock Exchange April 30, 2020.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis (pictured) gave a national address April 13, 2020 at the Office of the Prime Minister. Read his full remarks here plus an infographic on the current state of the Covid-19 outbreak in The Bahamas.

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