After lingering in ‘junk’ territory for years, Barbados’s investment grade is projected to begin rising again by the end of this year, the Government’s senior technical adviser Dr Kevin Greenidge said today.
Before the end of the year, Barbados’ sovereign credit rating will start to go back up again in face of 22 credit downgrades during the past decade, he told journalists.
“I don’t have that as a major concern,” he declared.
Suggesting that confidence in the economy will soon return, Dr Greenidge said he did not share the concerns that investors will in future avoid Barbados Government securities because of the financial fallout being experienced by pensioners, other citizens, firms and commercial banks who bought debentures, treasury bills and treasury notes.
“It comes a point in time if you don’t pursue proper policies, that fundamentally will ruin your ability to pay [debt]. In all of those cases, confidence will return and people will eventually invest in Government again. Because when you are going to make an investment decision now, emotions are high . . . but when you are going to make an investment decision, you look at fundamentals . . . you look at the ability of the person you are investing in to repay,” Dr Greenidge said.
And he is certain that over time, the IMF-funded Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme would restore and correct all the fundamentals that existed before.
He reminded Barbadians that the country could not repay in the past because the debt was too high, running fiscal deficits that averaged seven and a half per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, the sum of goods and services produced in the country.
“Confidence is being restored…just as the international community is investing, locals will find it necessary because[of] the excess income and wealth you have to start to invest again.
And unlike what you are thinking, I have no concern that people would be coming after Government paper,” the economist told reporters. He added that the investment community is already looking and evaluating what Government was not doing.