Sri Lanka rating raised to ‘B+’ by S&P

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Sept 14, 2010 (LBO) – Standard & Poor’s has raised its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Sri Lanka to ‘B+’ from ‘B’ and the long-term local currency rating to ‘BB-‘ from ‘B+’ with a stable outlook, a statement said. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s confirmed the ‘B’ short-term rating on the sovereign.

S&P’s also said it raised all the issue ratings on Sri Lanka’s senior unsecured debt accordingly.

Standard & Poor’s confirmed its transfer and convertibility assessment of ‘B+’, and its recovery rating of ‘4’ on Sri Lanka’s senior unsecured foreign currency debt.

This signals the expectation of an average recovery of 30-50 percent in the event of a distressed debt exchange or payment default, the rating agency said.

“The rating upgrade takes into account the continued strengthening of Sri Lanka’s balance-of-payments position,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Agost Benard.

“(It also) reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that the government’s planned revenue reforms will improve public finances, such that fiscal deficits and public debt will decline again in a sustainable manner.”

These positive factors are balanced against ongoing risk posed by excessive public and external leverage