Categorized | National News

Cooper Says S&P Rating Doesn’t Warrant Celebrations

Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper has said there is no need to celebrate  Standard and Poors’  decision to affirm The Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating as stable.

In a statement the Shadow Minister for Finance said  there’s not much to celebrate by Standard and Poors having The Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating remain at junk status.  There is some relief to be had in the fact that a further downgrade has been avoided.

“It is a good sign that S&P has acknowledged the viability of Baha Mar and its contribution to the economy with the CTFE deal just completed. Clearly, the opening of the Grand Hyatt and the SLS, with the Rosewood to come, have been a boost to The Bahamas and has made analysts and investors more bullish on The Bahamas‘ prospects.

“It is hoped that the government is receptive to S&P’s advice and analysis on the need to focus on economic growth.

“So far, this term, the government has appointed a committee on the ease of doing business. However, it is critical that the approach is a comprehensive one inclusive of small and medium sized local businesses,” said Cooper.

“The Minnis administration must take a more proactive role in actually courting foreign direct investment (FDI) and local direct investment (LDI), while ensuring Bahamian participation.
We have heard many allusions to FDI, but little in the way of solid indicators that investment is being actively courted or is on the way.

“There has been no update in Parliament or in the general public about what can be expected in terms of FDI throughout The Bahamas.

“Even without confirmation that the credit rating remains at junk, the economy remains anemic.
There is little hope for the jobless and there has been nothing tangible articulated as to a plan for Grand Bahama, which is in dire straits,” Mr. Cooper said

The Bahamas’ sovereign credit rating was affirmed as BB+/B, a rating which S&P said reflects its expectation of robust political institutions to “anchor fiscal consolidation” and higher, although still low, economic growth over the next one to two years — another positive sign for The Bahamas as it avoided blacklisting from the European Union.

However, S&P warned that it could lower its rating over the next two years if public finances do not improve as quickly as expected, which could result from stagnant economic growth, external shocks or “weakened political commitment”.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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