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Jun 1, 2005

…but Standard & Poor?s is not convinced

On the heels of the U.D.P. press conference, came news that the international credit rating organisation Standard & Poor?s has once again downgraded Belize’s long-term foreign currency rating, this time from a precarious CCC to a perilous CCC minus. With the S&P outlook negative, Briceño maintains the news is not necessarily all bad.

Johnny Briceño
?Well certainly it?s not something that we like, but presently on the short-term it does not have a direct impact on us as a government. Why? Simply because we are not going to markets to borrow money. If we?d been going to the markets now to go and to borrow money abroad, then of course it would have a negative impact because it would raise interest rates. And so it does not have that impact on us and I feel that once S&P takes a closer look at what we are doing–Standard & Poor?s–once they take a closer look at the cuts that we are doing, how we are handling the fiscal deficits, what we?re doing to narrow that fiscal deficit to under three percent, I think that then they will start to have a renewed confidence in the government. And certainly the confidence in Belize will continue to grow, because they, I think, are still confident that there is still a lot of opportunity in Belize and that now we as a government are taking a close look, a serious look, and that we are determined to be able to move Belize out of this financial deficit that we are finding ourselves with.?

Unfortunately for the government, the Standard & Poor?s report makes it clear that they’ve lowered the rating because they’ve taken a close look at government’s plans, not in spite of them.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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