November 21, 2008

Standard & Poor's Revises Province�s Outlook to Positive

Newfoundland and Labrador has again been recognized for its prudent fiscal management by Standard & Poor's Rating Services (Standard &Poor�s) which has revised the province�s outlook to positive from stable. Standard & Poor�s announced the change today, along with affirming its ratings, including its �A� long-term issuer credit rating for the province.

"Given the challenges being faced by jurisdictions as a result of the global economic downturn, I am pleased that the province continues to receive recognition by credit agencies for improving our province�s fiscal situation," said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board. "Our commitment to reducing debt, decreasing taxes and making sustainable investments to further grow the economy is being recognized and commended. In the current economic climate it is even more important that we continue to be prudent in our spending and make decisions in the best long term interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador."

The revised outlook represents the second time in recent weeks the province has received a positive report from a credit rating agency. Dominion Bond Rating Service upgraded the province�s long-term debt rating from A (low) to A last month.

"Our economy remains strong and the current economic downturn should not affect development of new oilfields including White Rose Expansion, Hibernia South and Hebron," said Minister Kennedy. "Looking forward, our fiscal situation will be impacted and become more challenging if oil prices remain at current levels. While we expect that oil prices will eventually recover, we need to retain vigilance and fiscal prudence to meet these challenges."

"The people of Newfoundland and Labrador and our public employees should be reasonable in their expectations, given the current fiscal and economic climate. The Williams Government, through fiscal prudence and sound policies, has set a course to sustainability and long term prosperity. We have planned for the future and we are following through on our plan," said Minister Kennedy.

The credit rating of a province is one of the key factors in its ability to attract investors who may purchase provincial bonds. It is also a factor in the interest rate applicable to securities and used by all capital market participants in assessing the credit worthiness of a province.

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Media contact:
Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 685-2646

2008 11 21                                                    5:10 p.m.

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