S&P cuts Pakistan’s credit rating to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’; maintains stable outlook

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Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings said on Monday it lowered Pakistan’s sovereign credit rating to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, citing diminished growth prospects, as well as elevated external and fiscal stresses.

S&P maintained Pakistan’s rating outlook at ‘stable’.

The credit rating agency stated that its stable outlook for Pakistan reflected its expectation that Pakistan will secure sufficient funding to meet its external financing requirements over the next twelve months.

S&P said it lowered Pakistan’s ranking as the country’s economic outlook as well as its external position deteriorated.

Prospects for a rapid recovery in fiscal and external settings are now diminished and modest growth prospects and limited reserve buffers will continue to challenge, the credit rating agency said.

The credit rating agency maintained that talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took longer than anticipated and that any resulting reforms, whether under the programme or otherwise will be less advantageous than previously hoped. “S&P believes the reform timeline will be more protracted in nature,” it added.

Fitch in December had downgraded Pakistan’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, while giving the sovereign a ‘stable’ outlook.

2019-02-04

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