4 May 2022
St Helena has once again achieved a Credit Rating of BBB-/A-3 stable, from global credit-rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P).
Credit ratings are forward-looking opinions about an issuer’s relative creditworthiness. They provide a common and transparent global language for investors to form a view on and compare the relative likelihood of whether an issuer may repay its debts on time and in full. Credit ratings are just one of many inputs that investors and other market participants can consider as part of their decision-making processes.
The credit rating assessment of ‘BBB-‘ means that S&P rates St Helena as ‘investment grade’; meaning that St Helena is a low-risk destination to invest relative to other countries. This is due to the fact that, although St Helena is more subject to adverse economic conditions than other locations, the Island still has adequate capacity to meet financial commitments.
S&P regularly updates its credit ratings for all countries. S&P first gave St Helena a credit rating in 2019. Through subsequent research into risks and vulnerabilities to St Helena’s economy, S&P has this year preserved St Helena’s credit rating at BBB-/A-3 stable.
S&P notes that St Helena’s stable credit rating is underpinned by the strong ongoing institutional and financial support provided by the UK and the absence of public debt, owing to the government’s principle of maintaining balanced budgets. The rating is constrained by the Island’s very remote location, its slow growth trends, and an aging population.
St Helena’s Minister for Treasury, Infrastructure & Sustainable Development, Mark Brooks, said:
“Receiving a stable investment-grade rating by S&P is good news as we look to recover the economy from the effects of the pandemic. The rating should assist us in our aim of providing and encouraging niche opportunities to attract and facilitate new streams of revenue, in an attempt to reduce our reliance on UK aid and bolster our current shrinking tax base.”
Gaining a credit rating is an action outlined in St Helena Government’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan. The rating assists recognition of the St Helena jurisdiction amongst the International Banking and Finance Sector. It helps external investors understand more about the investment environment, which includes political, financial, legislative and environmental factors. And finally, it provides an independent assessment of the state of play of St Helena’s economy compared to the rest of the world.
Further information about S&P and its credit rating system can be found at https://www.spglobal.com/ratings.
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4 May 2022