Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘B/B’ long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Tunisia. S&P also affirmed its long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on the Central Bank of Tunisia at ‘B/B’.
S&P have subsequently withdrawn its ratings on Tunisia and the Central Bank of Tunisia at the Tunisian government’s request, it said in a statement released Thursday. S&P will therefore also discontinue its ‘B+’ transfer and convertibility assessment on Tunisia.
The outlook on the ratings was negative at the time of the withdrawal.
At the time of the withdrawal, the ratings on Tunisia reflected S&P’s view of persistent uncertainty regarding the transition to democracy, as well as rising security risks and their impact on Tunisia’s potential growth and fiscal and external positions.
The ratings were backed by large donor support, although this could fade given the still uncertain transition process and slow progress in donor-supported structural reforms, related mainly to the banking sector, the investment code, and the tax system.
The outlook was negative because there was a more than one-in-three likelihood of a downgrade of Tunisia if political and social instability were to hamper the establishment of legitimate and stable institutions, jeopardizing the implementation of growth-promoting reforms; or if much-needed international financial support were to decrease.