Fitch Ratings upgraded Macau’s long-term foreign-currency ratings to ‘AA’ from ‘AA-‘, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects a number of key ratings drivers, including estimated GDP growth of 8.7% in 2017 following three consecutive years of decline. The international credit rating agency also cited that local “authorities have demonstrated a commitment to fiscal prudence through a period of gaming windfalls, and a heavy revenue shock”, taking the fiscal and external balance sheets of the Special Economic Zone to a stronger position that offsets “the significant risks associated with its narrow economic base and concentration on mainland Chinese gaming tourism”. Towards this, Fitch highlighted that Macau’s external balance sheet amongst the strongest across Fitch-rated sovereigns globally, with estimations of government net foreign assets in 2017 at 176% of GDP and the economy-wide net external creditor position at 216% of GDP. It is also the “only Fitch-rated sovereign globally without any outstanding government borrowings”.
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