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Malta gets an A+ rating from Fitch
The stability of Malta’s economy has been reconfirmed by Fitch Ratings, one of the leading rating agencies globally. Having been downgraded to an A rating in September 2013, seemingly due to the prospect of an excessive deficit procedure by the European Commission, Malta returned to its former A+ score with a stable outlook thanks to its ‘fast declining gross general government debt’ which is expected to ‘decrease to 50% of GDP in 2019...supported by strong nominal GDP growth and recurrent primary surpluses.’
In its economic forecast, Fitch said it expected Malta's GDP to grow at a faster pace than its similarly rated peers, with growth forecast at 4.3% this year, 3.7% the next and 3.5% in 2019.
This growth is partly attributed to increased revenue from citizenship and residency programme. However, the report also outlines the fact that Malta has successfully built a net external creditor position and takes account of the prospect of fresh EU funds that can be utilised for large transport, health and education projects. The government's successful re-election was also outlined as a stabilising factor.
Fitch also expects the Maltese banking sector to remain solid with improved profitability, a decline in non-performing loans as well as conservative lending system.
Welcoming the news of Malta’s credit rating, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna commented that: "Malta is becoming a solid top performer in economic growth, employment growth, and sound public finances. All this is being confirmed by the rating agencies."