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Trinidad: S&P downgrades TT Concerned about Govt’s ability to balance budget

INTERNATIONAL credit ratings agency Standard & Poor is concerned about TT’s ability to balance the 2020 budget, citing lower-than-expected energy production and economic growth that will weaken the Government’s revenue base.

In its country report released yesterday, the New York-based institution lowered the country’s long-term foreign and local currency credit rating from BBB+ to BBB, but held the outlook as steady, compared to negative last year. The short-term rating is held steady at A-2. S&P also revised down the country’s transfer and convertibility assessment to BBB+ from A. The classification still places TT in the investment grade tier, although on the lower medium grade rung.

S&P also noted longer-than-expected delays in institutional reforms needed to strengthen revenue collection and improve timely economic data. As a result, the agency “did not expect to see material dividends from these reforms in the near term.”

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