Moody’s upgrades Pakistan’s outlook from ‘under review for downgrade’
NEW YORK: International Credit Rating Agency, Moody’s has upgraded Pakistan’s outlook from ‘under review for downgrade’ to ‘stable’, while maintaining B 3 rating.
In a tweet, Ministry of Finance said it was an affirmation of the government’s sound fiscal and financial policies in these times of unprecedented hardship and uncertainty.
Federal Minister of Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar also termed the development an encouraging sign. “Moody’s confirmation of Pakistan’s B3 rating with stable outlook during pandemic was an encouraging sign,” he said in a tweet.
The federal minister said that the country’s rating was downgraded to B3 negative in June 2018 based on data/policies of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. In December 2019, he added, after economic stabilsation by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, rating was upgraded to B3 Stable.
Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) confirmed the government of Pakistan’s B3 local and foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings with a stable outlook.
Concurrently, Moody’s has also confirmed the B3 foreign currency senior unsecured ratings for The Third Pakistan International Sukuk Co Ltd, according to press statement received here which added that the associated payment obligations are, in Moody’s view, direct obligations of the government of Pakistan.
“The review for downgrade reflected Moody’s assessment that the country’s participation in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) raised the risk that private sector creditors would incur losses. In the last few weeks, Moody’s has considered the evidence of implementation of DSSI for a range of rated sovereigns, and statements by G20 officials,” the statement added.
While Moody’s continues to believe that the ongoing implementation of DSSI poses risks to private creditors, the decision to conclude the review and confirm the rating reflects Moody’s assessment that, at this stage, for Pakistan, those risks are adequately reflected in the current B3 rating.
It said that it remained unclear what influence is being applied to Pakistan and to other participating sovereigns to treat private creditors in a comparable manner to official sector creditors.
However, a number of elements suggest that the probability of broad-ranging private sector involvement has diminished.
These include the apparent absence of progress in discussions about how private sector involvement (PSI) would be effected in DSSI in general; indications by the G20 that PSI would require the support of the borrowing government; the government of Pakistan’s continued assertion that PSI is not contemplated; and evidence of some debt payments being made to private sector creditors under a DSSI regime.