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Will Fitch Ratings revise Tunisia’s rating?

A delegation of international rating agency “Fitch Ratings” is paying a periodic technical visit to Tunisia, pending the revision of the country’s rating.

“Fitch Rating” had lowered Tunisia’s rating, in March 2011, from “BBB” to “BBB-,” as a result of uncertainties about the country’s stability and economic policy during the difficult period of political transition.

Members of the “Fitch” delegation were received, Tuesday, by Finance Minister Houcine Dimassi who briefed them on the current economic situation and the Government’s programs to cope with the economic and social difficulties.

“The supplementary budget law, under preparation pending its adoption in the first quarter of 2012, will take into account the requirements of the national and international economic situation,” he said.

“It will take into consideration, particularly, the slowdown in the rate of growth of European Union countries, exchange rate fluctuations and soaring oil prices.”

Mr. Dimassi stressed the “Government’s commitment to limit the budget deficit rate to 6% despite social pressures.”

Regarding public debt, he said Tunisia plans to “respect and meet its commitments toward lenders.”

Macro-economic balances are preserved and public finances are sound, said Secretary of State for Finance Slim Besbes, reminding of the support brought to Tunisia by international financial institutions and economic partners.

“Fitch Ratings” had justified downgrading of the country’s rating in March 2011 by the fact that the political crisis lowered the short-term outlook for the economy, public finance and the financial system.

The agency had, however, indicated that success of the elections or signs showing that public finances and the economy are less affected than feared would result in a revision of the outlook which would then be stable.


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