Business News of 2013-12-08

S&P downgrades Ghana’s credit outlook

Ghana’s credit rating has suffered another jolt barely months after ratings agency, Fitch, downgraded the West African country’s credit worthiness to B from B+ followed by a similar poor rating by Moody's.

Another ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has pronounced a negative credit outlook on the country, from a previous stable rating.

Moody's, on December 5, 2013, changed the outlook on Ghana's B1 government bond rating to negative from stable.

Also, Moody's affirmed the government's B1 issuer and bond ratings.

The key drivers of the rating, according to a statement were: “The Ghanaian government's weak fiscal fundamentals and rising debt levels, which reflect both continued spending overruns and relatively low revenue ratios compared with rating peers, despite rapid growth”, as well as “The weakening of Ghana's external position on the back of large external imbalances and a low level of foreign-exchange reserves, which have increased the country's susceptibility to event risk in view of the strong correlation between domestic economic activity and the global business and commodity cycles”.

A statement from S&P, according to Ghana Business News, said: “The negative outlook indicates at least a one-in-three possibility that we could lower the ratings on Ghana within the next 12-18 months, due to its weakening fiscal and external profile”.

S&P affirmed its ‘B’ long-term and ‘B’ short-term foreign and local currency sovereign ratings on Ghana.