Moody’s affirmed Malta’s sovereign rating at A3 with a positive outlook; praising the local economy’s robust growth dynamics, relatively elevated wealth levels that support the country’s shock-absorption capacity, and a stable and conservative domestically oriented banking sector, according to a press statement the government’s Department of Information (DOI) put out at the end of January.
The positive outlook reflects Malta’s sustained progress in reducing the national debt as well as its robust medium-term growth prospects that are supportive of further improvements in public finances, the DOI press statement says when summarising the report. According to Moody’s, should the improvement in public funds be sustained, an upcoming credit rating upgrade is possible.
Growth is expected to remain strong in 2019, chiefly fuelled by the foreseen increase in investment and private consumption. Moody’s also forecasts a surplus of 1.2% of GDP, as well as sees the Maltese government targeting a surplus net of revenues from the Individual Investor Programme (IIP) in 2019.
The Moody’s report also acknowledges the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) fiscal transparency evaluation report concluding that Malta meets the standard for excellent or advanced practice for 21 out of the 35 principles of the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code. At the same time, Moody’s also acknowledges anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations by Malta.
The full summary by the DOI on the Moody’s credit rating report is available at the official website of the government department.
“I am pleased to note that Moody’s is acknowledging our efforts to strengthen the regulatory institutions while sustaining macroeconomic and fiscal stability,” Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna says.