Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2013

Curacao retains rating but S&P lowers outlook

standard-poors WILLEMSTAD - In an announcement, Standard and Poor's Credit Ratings Agency has modified the sovereign credit outlook for Curacao from stable to negative. The agency cited that the government's efforts on reforming the health care and public pension funds of the government have contributed to the downgrade, but retained its A minus rating.

Standard and Poor's, in a statement said, "The government raised health care and general pension premiums, as well as raised the retirement age to 65 from 60. As a result, we expect the deficit in the general pension system to gradually return to surpluses over the next decade."

It also said that the reforms being done would gradually improve the fiscal position of the government, saying that 'the gross general government debt burden will gradually decline.'

Aside from those reforms, the government has increased taxes on luxury goods sales and property, as well as laid off government workers to improve its overall fiscal situation.

Curacao is not rated by Moody's Investors Service or Fitch Ratings.

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