Panama Debt Rating Outlook Raised to Positive by S&P
Panama’s credit-rating outlook was raised to positive by Standard & Poor’s, putting the Central american country on the cusp of an investment-grade rating, as tax increases and faster economic growth help keep the budget deficit in check. S&P boosted the outlook from stable on the nation’s BB+ rating, which is one level below investment grade and in line with countries including Egypt and Romania.
The Panama Canal, which is undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion project through 2014 to handle larger vessels, will help propel the country’s economy, S&P said. President Ricardo Martinelli’s tax reform will boost revenue by about 0.75 percent of gross domestic product, helping fund the country’s “ambitious program of public investment,” according to S&P.
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