Days after the government met with international credit ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said yesterday that he is “confident” The Bahamas is on the “right path” to increase its credibility in international markets and with the ratings agencies.
Speaking at an Inter-American Bank (IDB) conference, Turnquest indicated that determining whether The Bahamas would be spared from another downgrade is “to some extent, subjective”.
“Our job is to present the case of The Bahamas as clearly as we possibly can and ensure we give the facts,” said Turnquest.
“It is important that we give the facts without too much embellishment, which has gotten us into trouble in the past.
“I feel confident that we are on the right path, overall, to correct our situation and increase our credibility in international markets and with the ratings agencies.
“We have some fundamentals in the economy that are showing signs of productivity that will help us to achieve our overall consolidation efforts and grow the economy.
“At this point, I believe our fundamentals are good and our prospects for the medium term are good based upon our book of investments both domestic and international. So, we hope for the best.”
S&P is expected to publish its annual review before the month ends.
Last year S&P delivered a blow to The Bahamas, dropping its investment rating to junk status due to a number of factors, one of which was the stalled opening of Baha Mar and the missed opportunity for thousands of jobs.
Baha Mar is partially open and will be fully open by the beginning of the second quarter of 2018. S&P, because of the progress made on Baha Mar, elevated the country’s outlook from negative to stable.
The stable outlook hinged on the success of a restarted Baha Mar project, as well as smaller tourism developments and the country’s steady stream of tourists.
But S&P threatened to further lower the country’s rating over the next two years if public finances continue to “deteriorate”.