Fitch Ratings gives investors confidence in Seychelles' economy, says finance official
The Ministry of Finance. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A top finance official in Seychelles said that this year's credit rating, which remains at 'BB-' with a stable outlook according to Fitch Ratings 2023, will benefit the country as a whole.
The secretary of state in the Ministry of Finance, Patrick Payet, told reporters on Wednesday that the ratings are based on conversations held with the ministry, the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), and also the private sector, which includes the banking and tourism sectors.
"We see that Fitch is confident with the economic conditions and the fiscal and monetary policy that government has put in place in the last two to three years," said Payet.
He added that "as Seychelles had a programme with the support of the IMF, CBS has discussed with the IMF to ensure the forecast we are providing with them so that they can confirm with them."
According to the Fitch Ratings released at the end of March this year, Seychelles' tourism sector recorded a solid recovery in 2022, with tourist arrivals surging by 82 percent year-on-year and reaching 86.4 percent of 2019 levels.
"If tomorrow we get a bond on the international market, we can negotiate very good rates and conditions for the loan portfolio," he said and added that "this gives investors"confidence in the Seychelles economy. It shows we have strong economic conditions to support any investments they are doing."
Seychelles' businesses will also benefit from the good ratings because if they "want to lend out internationally, they too can use this rating and negotiate better rates in regards to any lending that they want to do outside Seychelles."
He explained that the government was introducing mechanisms to tackle some of the weaknesses the report had highlighted and that there is currently a three-year plan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ensure the climate change component is mitigated.
"We see that climate change is no longer an issue that concerns the department it falls under but is rather something that concerns the whole of government in general," he said.
The next Fitch rating is expected to be released later in October.
"We are hopeful that in the next review, we should maintain or upgrade this rating," said Payet.