RP less vulnerable to crisis: Fitch

The Philippines is vulnerable to the global financial crisis, but less so than other countries in the region, as its banks and external financial position are sound, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Reuters before the government launched an offer for an international bond, James McCormack, managing director of Asia-Pacific sovereign ratings at Fitch, said he saw no reason to change the country’s BB rating and stable outlook.

“We are comfortable with the rating where it is,” he told Reuters in an interview.

He said the country’s healthy fundamentals should help keep its ratings outlook from being downgraded, but added that slow growth in government revenues posed a risk.

“It looks to us that when we cast our eyes around the region, at economies that are vulnerable to what is going on internationally, the Philippines is certainly included but it is not one of the countries that we are most concerned about,” he said.

“The banking sector is reasonably isolated from what’s been going on internationally, that includes both exposure to sub-prime and other assets with questionable values.”

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