May 8, 2002
The following statement was issued today by Joan Marie Aylward, Minister of Finance. It was also read in the House of Assembly.
Provincial credit rating
I am most pleased today to announce that Moody’s Investors Service, one of the major credit rating agencies which rate the province’s debt, has increased our rating from "Baa1" to "A3." Together with the "A-" rating we currently have with Standard & Poor’s, this marks the first time in our history that this province has an "A" rating with two credit rating agencies.
The province’s rating with Moody’s had been "Baa1" since 1974, and we last had an "A" with Moody’s in 1933.
In announcing the upgrade today, Moody’s noted the province’s strong economic growth, improved fiscal position, and the resultant improvement in key debt ratios, such as debt to GDP. Moody’s also point to the level of fiscal support provided by the federal government, and the likelihood of a continuation of this support in light of Canada’s improving fiscal position and debt burden.
The rating upgrade will result in lower borrowing costs for the province and will improve our access to the capital markets. In addition, this will enhance our ability to finance major projects such as the Lower Churchill Power Project, in the event a deal can be reached for its development.
This announcement today confirms that government is making the right choices with respect to striking a balance between continuing to build our economy, while maintaining the integrity of our health and social programs. It is very important that we continue our resolve to prudently manage the finances of the province so as to ensure a strong economy in the future.
2002 05 08 2:30 p.m.