Moody’s just downgraded T&T’s credit rating

FinancialMoody’s Investors Service, the credit rating agency that conducts international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities on Thursday downgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s government bond rating, and issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa1 and changed the outlook to negative from stable.

According to Moody’s, the key drivers behind the downgrade are:

1. Persistent fiscal deficits and challenging prospects for fiscal reforms.

2. Decline in oil prices and limited economic diversification to weigh negatively on economic growth prospects.

3. Weak macroeconomic policy framework given lack of a medium-term fiscal strategy; and inadequate provision of vital macroeconomic data.

At Baa2, the investment grade rating is supported by a strong government balance sheet, underpinned by the country’s Heritage and Stabilization Fund (HSF), and also benefits from a moderate and affordable debt burden and a strong external position.
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Central Bank: Moody’s downgrade unjustified
Statement issued Friday on Moody’s downgrade of TT- Central Bank is assuring the international community Trinidad and Tobago remains an investment grade destination and is able to fully meet all its debt obligations. The sound credit worthiness of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural gas-based economy is firmly supported by the country’s strong net external asset position (including assets in the Heritage and Stabilization Fund), low external vulnerability and stable political system.

9 Responses to “Moody’s just downgraded T&T’s credit rating”

  • Any nation that is oil producing will be down graded. The fact is the government has cut back on spending. Howai must take the nation to balance budget status. To say that Trinidad is heavily dependent on oil is wrong. The Venezuela economy is heavily depended on oil and they are in shambles. Howai must tighten the reigns by freezing wage increases in the government sector,he will have Rowley support.

  • Jerry C. Hussain

    Where have ALL THE MONEY GONE…that is the song ringing in my ear bells? The highest oil price revenue earner than ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT (2010 to 2014)in our small history of Governing ourselves from 1962 to now. This government was given the mandate of no corruption after the Manning government and has now BITTERLY FAILED us. Perhaps most of all of this money the 400 Billion must be in banks in China or India. But the pain and the suffering we are seeing in THOSE TWO countries tell us God doh sleep. We now must prepare for the persecution that God tells us will come our way..”once you believe in Me they will persecute you, for I am the TRUTH the WAY and the LIFE”. The truth will prevail. Yes we must suffer but as long as we keep the faith God will always be with us. The lies tempt us as in BALTIMORE revenge seems like the ideal way to go, but we must leave that to God as He says REVENGE is mine. But our justice system must change as we suffer blood, sweat and tears to pay our bills, repair our homes and pay our taxes and send our children to the best schools and get nothing in return as Miss K and her bandits take everything for themselves. Like Freddie Gray and there are many greys among us ( OR MULATTOS ) we come from afar with just the clothes on our backs, working extremely hard under difficult conditions to obtain our papers the correct way but others get all the jobs and live far better lives than us.
    Unlike the leaders whether they be presidents, judges, head of the HOUSE, PMS who do not earn anything and have false papers or have the correct names in the society they rule and earn the best salaries and take the best of the land in which we all live in and bring our economic system to a halt. They steal and lie and rape and push us back to the wall like Freddie Gray break our bones or like KUNTA KINTE ( you run we will make sure you do not run anymore ). I cry out to the FATHER, please bring us some justice….take these ram goats away from us. They even sully the names of our greats in the mud. They strip us of our little wealth via their no good lawyers and doctors, kill our mothers and babies and have no solution to our many problems they created from the colonial days.

    • ” Perhaps most of all of this money the 400 Billion must be in banks in China or India”—Jerry.
      For D Jerry.
      All of the PNM propagandists including Faris Al Rawi (PNM PRO) have been lying about the amount of money spent by the PP govt during their term in office . They have been quoting wildly that about 400 Billion dollars were being spent .The figures quoted below are the actual budget statistics from the Ministry of Finance .
      2011 $ 49 Billion
      2012 $54.6 Billion
      2013 $ 58Billion
      2014 $61 Billion
      2015 $ 66.4 Billion
      Total $289 Billion
      The total realized budget deficits for these years were $21billion .
      This data proves that the PNM propagandist figure of $400 billion spent is wrong.

      Look where da money gorn
      Trinidad is still paying for this but a fella in Miami is enjoying
      PNM corruption.
      Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference, Sports Minister Anil Roberts said the former government took out a $497 million loan from First Citizens Bank (FCB) on November 19, 2009 with respect to the stadium.
      Building work on the Shaw Park Cultural Complex began in 2006, and was originally scheduled to be completed in June 2011. The original budget for the project was $196 million; it is now estimated to have cost a whopping $634 million. The main contractor is Yorke Structures Limited, with NIPDEC as project manager. The Scarborough Hospital cost $700 million that is about $7 million per bed, it is a 100 bed hospital. It cost an additional $130 million to complete. The grand total for this boondoggle $830 million and the UNC had to come and complete it. Took over 10 years to build.

      Toruba was suppose to cost $275 million, the final cost will be $1.1 billion.
      Petrotrin funded cost overruns to the tune of US$190.4 million. “In the end, the actual construction cost to date of this unfinished plant is US$400 million compared with an initial project cost in 2007 of US$160 million. Around $3.5 billion TT flush down the toilet.

      Chaguanas Corporation Administrative Complex—$10 million over-budget and 24 months’ delay; Chancery Lane—$300 million overrun, 24 months’ delay; Government campus, Legal Affairs Towers—$300 million over-budget and 18 months’ delay; International Waterfront—$1.3 billion over-budget and six months’ delay; Minister of Education Towers—$300 million over budget, 20 months’ delay; NAPA (PoS)—$234 million over-budget and 12 months overdue; NAPA (San Fernando)—$238 million over-budget and 30 months overdue; Beverly Hills—$106 million over-budget and 65 months’ delay; Brian Lara Stadium—$275 million final cost $1.1 billion. the Diplomatic Centre at the Prime Minister’s residence—$700 million over-budget and 5 months overdue. The last official figure given for the Diplomatic Centre was, however, $200 million.

      However he said the stadium’s main contractor Hafeez Karamath claimed “they have not been paid in one year.” Stating that FCB is now asking the new government to pay back this loan, Roberts said Ramlogan and Finance Minister Winston Dookeran are “now trying to find out where that money has gone.”
      Poof $497 million disappear..

      • Jerry C. Hussain

        We are seeing the real estate PNM left behind and we know why the costs were much higher than budget but you do not seem to get it….PERHAPS YOUR SKULL IS JUST TOO THICK FOR ANYTHING TO PENETRATE. Your government took an oat to wipe out corruption and when the figures add up…… real estate to show…spent over 400 BILLON , money we have not even made yet. And you want to cover it up. You racist bastard!

        • The truth alludes you. Obviously a standard three education. I present facts but you prefer propaganda. The PNM spent over $400 billion during its term in office, that is what Rawi is referring to… Lean to listen and read.

  • The following is the statement issued by government:

    Despite moves by Moody’s Investors Services to adjust Government Bond Ratings of a number of countries including Trinidad and Tobago downward, Finance and the Economy Minister Larry Howai is confident that our growth and sustainable development policies have placed Trinidad and Tobago on the right trajectory.

    Noting that “Trinidad and Tobago’s Baa2 rating remains comfortably within Investment Grade” Moody’s Investors Services yesterday announced an adjustment to Trinidad and Tobago’s government bond rating to Baa2 from Baa1.

    Moody’s has also taken similar rating actions for a number of other countries including South Africa, from Baa1 to Baa2; Russia from Baa3 to Ba1; Bahrain from Baa2 to Baa3; Japan from Aa3 to A1; and Costa Rica from Baa3 to Ba1; but Trinidad and Tobago is different, with a diversified energy base, continuing strong current account inflows and an economy which has shown two and a half years of continuous growth, notwithstanding the challenges in the global economy.

    It is important to note that Moody’s evaluation confirmed that “The sovereign credit profile is supported by a strong government balance sheet, underpinned by the country’s Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (HSF) and also benefits from a moderate and affordable debt burden and a strong external position.”

    Moody’s cited global financial conditions coupled with a drop in energy prices as factors that led to the rating adjustment but it must be noted that there has been no deterioration in the country’s financial position in the last 12 months.

    Our nation’s Heritage and Stabilisation Fund remains untouched and currently stands at US$5.6 billion. Our official reserves at the end of the first quarter of 2015 were US$10.8 billion. Import cover remains high at approximately 12.2 months. And the country’s external debt service ratio remains manageable at approximately 8.6 percent, with total debt to GDP standing at 43 percent.

    Our economic fundamentals remain resistant and robust and it is expected that the economy will continue to grow this year. The implications of running continuous fiscal deficits have been recognised and Government has moved to treat with same. We have successfully reduced the fiscal deficit by 1 percent of GDP in each of the last three years and had projected a deficit of 2.3 percent of GDP this fiscal year which is moderate and comparable to our existing peer group.

    This projected deficit was exacerbated by the sudden plunge in oil prices but to mitigate these effects, Government undertook an adjustment exercise based on the revision of its revenue price assumptions from US$80/barrel to US$45/barrel of oil and from US$2.75/mmBtu to US$2.25/mmBtu for gas.

    As a result of this proactive intervention, the fiscal accounts showed a surplus of $47 million for the first six months of this financial year as compared to a budgeted deficit of $3.9 billion for the same period. Government has made focused efforts to balance the Budget and to ensure the long term sustainability of the fiscal accounts.

    Government has always been mindful of the need to find the right balance between maintaining strong financial fundamentals and a strong rating while at the same time making the necessary investments to develop physical infrastructure, foster long term growth, intensify economic development and stimulate income generation. We shall continue to do so.

  • To those out there who have a problem with this report or those who don’t understand it, is important that it be explained in good colloquial language, so that the truth is comes out from an entirely non-political and non-partisan institution with international reputation for economic analysis. This means, measuring true international economic conditions, the UNC governance of Trinidad and Tobago, the UNC monetary policies, the handling of the UNC foreign reserves, the expertise of the main people handling those policies (e.g. Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar’s management of the Trinidad and Tobago’s economy,Jwala Rambaran, Central Bank Governor’s policies, Minister of Finance Larry Howai’s spending of the national resources and to some extent Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran handling of Foreign Affairs.). It is important to note the main criteria they stated that concluded in the downgrading of how the Kamla Persad Bissessar’s government is handling all aspects of Income, expenditure, distribution of government resources, foreign relations, Labour and a host of other national behavior that affect the way we spend and obtain foreign reserves:

    1. Persistent fiscal deficits and challenging prospects for fiscal reforms.

    2. Decline in oil prices and limited economic diversification to weigh negatively on economic growth prospects.

    3. Weak macroeconomic policy framework given lack of a medium-term fiscal strategy; and inadequate provision of vital macroeconomic data.

    This is a TRUE and respected analysis of Kamla Persad Bissessar. Of course, there will be the tribalists who will listen or entertain none of this result using true economic principles.

    The weakness that have been emblazoned by this report is definitely the result of bad management of the national resources. At the helm of such management is the Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie. Here is a man who have been the recipient of regional academic acclaim (earned or unearned), a man who headed the principal university of the region – the University of the West Indies. A tenure at the University that while there may experience an increase in enrollment, has DEFINITELY left it with a punctured reputation and an academic rating far less renowned, than when he took the reins of it’s leadership. The University has been so downgraded that many parents became skeptical of their children graduating from there. Personally, my daughter wanted to enjoy it’s past glory by going to graduate school there but I advised her against it – Thank God for Oxford. The end result is a UWI in search of an identity, a reputation of far less desired acumen than it was 10 years ago.
    Bhoe was also a director of the Sat Maharaj inspired, Harry Narnarine led Hindu Credit Union, a director of the ill-fated CLICO conglomerate and now as the country’s leading advocate of this country’s development (local and international). So, we should not really be surprised that he is leading us into economic ruin. Aided and abetted by the equally mismanaged prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar. The distribution of foreign reserves is nothing short of a disaster since the assignment of Jwala Rambaran. There were no shortage of U.S dollar supplies prior to his assignment, but that has now become the rule. Businessmen, parents, investors and traders alike are being affected. This has been brought to the knowledge of the Prime Minister many times but much has not changed. In the case of Larry Howai, well! much has been said and much is still to be said of his stewardship of the Ministry of Finance. He was greeted with great fanfare, when he was introduced as new minister of finance with an inducement of $11M signing bonus. He overseer the IPO of FCB and the financial world knows what a disaster that was. He is now dodging and fancy stepping his involvement in the TCL fiasco. This fiasco is yet to be published but there is sure to be financial and political overplay of his roles in the disasters. The creator and ultimate manager of this creature of the downgrading of our economy is of course no other person than our renowned Prime Minister Kam Persad Bissessar. Recently I heard a joke of three candidates being intereviewed by Kamla for a big financial position. Kayla asked the first candidate a basic math question to feel what his acumen is about finance. The question she asked was, what is the result when you add 2 + 2, THE CANDIDATE answered of course that is easy the answer is 4. The second candidate answered by trying to be a little swave saying it is
    3 plus one. Candidate number three was her favorite and most highly considered, so when answering the question he said to her, “prime minister the answer to that question is anything you want it to be”. Of course the third candidate got the job.
    The health system is in disarray. Baby and patient deaths abound. An arrogant health minister is reported as telling complaining nurses and health professionals “if you don’t like it, you could go”. I overheard a conversation about the performance of this minister. He has been referred to as “Dr. Kildare”. Dr. Kildare was a favorite TV medical doctor. The word ‘Kildare’ deriving Our foreign minister is basically a decent man but his ideas are not in touch with the situations occurring in the world today. Guns and ammunition have been replaced with astute diplomacy as a means of dealing with the problems facing the world. Our representative have placed square pegs in round holes in terms of our embassy assignments around the world. The result is a lot of unqualified executives manning our embassies. So, in conclusion, it would be interesting to see how this prime minster handles the economy of Trinidad and Tobago to correct (if her interests lies in our development) our economic outlook with such agencies like Petrotrin in trouble, NGC and all state enterprises in such dysfunctional states. This is a tall order and nor amount of politicking can alter this downgrading. It will take professional and astute management like the one undertaken by Barrack Obama in 2008 to return our country to a satisfactory
    financial health.

  • They saw,they came,they pillaged,and are now preparing to leave.

  • Hey folks,these were two,poignant pearls of wisdom,which emanated from de wisest woman that ever lived ,in my late ,Tobago Granny. I somehow, could not help but recall same,as I observed the follies of these Political bums ,we were unfortunately Saddled with over the past 5 years.
    First on the list:-
    1.”Never hang your hat,where you have to take stick,to reach it.”

    If you ignore this truism,then it can eventually result in a ummmmm…Moody downgrade,thus making resource staff-crime haven Jamaica,dem Bajan economic upstarts,and even ‘failed State’ Haiti,better destinations for conducting business,by prospective conglomerates,than our mismanaged T&T.

    With only a few months to go ,before the elections ,don’t be surprised if these cretins run to the IMF ,or World Bank to grab a few trinkets,to mislead the gullible masses.

    The second was :-
    2.”Don’t cut your nose,to spoil your face.”

    What do we know, but yet more empty,feel good,ostentatious ,neo tribal gestures,by Kamla,aimed at…..Well,your guess,is good as mine,people.
    These folks ,don’t presently need our money ,but logical help.
    Can’t save babies ,and their mamas ,from Dr Goopiesing ,and (anti nurses) pal, Dr Fraud, murderous doctors,but want to save the world.
    Did a paint job of the Caura hospital,and told citizens ,T&T,was miraculously ready, for any Ebola outbreak.
    Yep,the financial gestures, looks great on paper,but if your country is broke,ran out of foreign exchange,has a stagnant,over dependent on falling oil prices /non diversified economy,then you are nada ,but political idiots,attempting to do the impossible.

    Let me again state, for de record folks,that my loving ,late,Tobago Granny, was indeed, de wisest woman that ever lived-hands down.
    Now ,even de most illiterate,and or ,biggest dummy,East,west,north ,and South of de Caroni,or East Dry River,knows fully well,that the opposite of wise,is foolish.
    However,it ain’t for yours truly,to disrespect the learned lawyer turn PM ,in Auntie Kamla,by referring to her ,as a fool,but then again…., ‘if the cap fits,pull the string’-as we like to say on the streets.

    Hey Kamla,it’s your call,and isn’t it about time ,(some are correctly wondering)for you ,to do the wise thing ,and fire yourself,before oil prices plummet to $5:00 per barrel,and you have to do like America,and mortgage our children’s future,by turning our coveted T&T,into a province of China?

    Please lady,for de luv of Krishna,Buddha,Jesus,and Mohammed,call de overdue elections,and let the disgusted,exasperated voters,save you ,that lying ,not too closeted -White color bandit- Howai-de First Citizens Bank -weasel,and the rest of your incompetent ,PP goons,from any further miseries,hmmmmmmmm?
    Pay attention folks,as the typical cyber yapping clowns,comes out of the woodwork,to defend the stupidity of their leader,and by extension ,party/government.
    By de way,quite an excellent analysis, of the present appalling, T&T socio economic-com political reality ,Bro Kian.
    Spot on!
    Let dem braying donkeys, try to counteract that ,with their typical,one line pony tricks,and failed attempts at a put down ,of… ‘Kian is a elitist ,foreign based,racist,pro PNM ..bla ,bla.’

    To hell with them!We ,the ever patriotic,neo progressive-Global Humanist,have a moral obligation,to hold our leaders accountable,keep their hands to the symbolic fire ,and where possible,build mechanisms, aimed at elevating our Pais,si?

    If we are fortunate to find others of similar ilk ,at the domestic ,and or ,foreign front,we should not hesitate where feasible, to join in solidarity,towards a more positive/wholesome end.
    If not,then we go it alone,and find ways ,to ….’side step ,’detractors.

    There is work to be done,mi piasano,be it in Jim Crow sixties,Americana,today Baltimore, Africa de Sul,or tribally fractured T&T.
    To quote ,Papa Deffy Eric ,philosophy student,Stokley Carmichael:-

    “Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks.”

    Long live the Republic of Tobag…ooops..lo siento,T&T!

    I love this land, Y tu?

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