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    21-Mar-2021

S&P affirms Jordan’s rating, citing ambitious reform programme

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — International credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) last week affirmed Jordan’s B+/B sovereign credit rating, maintaining a stable outlook despite global downgrades to both regional and global countries.
 
The maintained rating by S&P is owed to Jordan “building a track record for implementing an ambitious list of reforms” over time, supported by an “ambitious IMF-sponsored reform agenda aimed at spurring investment, improving competitiveness, widening the tax base, targeting corruption and improving transparency”, according to a statement made available to The Jordan Times.   
 
The report further rationalised the rating by noting that, despite the impairing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Jordan’s economic reform progress, with important sectors such as tourism feeling the brunt of the macroeconomic dislocation, “more adverse scenarios have been avoided, partly thanks to the authorities' timely containment measures, along with fiscal and monetary stimulus”.
 
The persistence of the coronavirus both globally and in Jordan means that a slow recovery is expected in 2021, which will pick up gradually over 2021-2024, the statement said. 
 
This growth “will be underpinned by fiscal consolidation measures and the eventual growth dividends from structural reforms aimed at spurring private sector investment and job creation”.
 
Debt levels, while elevated due to coronavirus and other pressures, are expected to decline as a percentage of GDP over time, the report noted.  
 
The stability of this debt is supported by Jordan’s strong multilateral relations, domestic debt in local and foreign currency, excess liquidity in the domestic banking system, and Jordan’s attractive position in the Eurobond market, the latter of which was showcased in its oversubscribed Eurobond issuance last summer.
 
S&P’s rating builds on the wider context of affirmed credit ratings by Moody’s and Fitch Rating Agencies.
 
 

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