Fitch upgrades Gabon's credit rating
Access to credit should significantly improve in Gabon, following Fitch Ratings' announcement that it has upgraded the country's credit rating from BB- to BB.Access to credit should significantly improve in Gabon, following Fitch Ratings' announcement that it has upgraded the country's credit rating from BB- to BB.
This new credit could even be upgraded to BB+ due to recent reforms introduced by the country's president to diversify the economy so it does not depend so much on oil, as well as improve public governance and the business environment, according to a press release from the agency published by Gabon Libre.
According to Fitch's forecast, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth - estimated at 6.7 percent in 2011 - should remain at a comparable level in 2012.
Moreover, at 20.4 percent of GDP, general government debt is well below that of Gabon's peers and should further decrease in coming years.
A sovereign credit rating upgrade can have an important impact on a country's financial system, as it acts as a national benchmark.
When it is upgraded, all rated companies, banks and local authorities may be upgraded as well.
Banks can access funds more easily on international financial markets and at lower rates. They will therefore be able to improve access to credit by lowering interest rates on loans.