Moody’s has affirmed Malta’s rating at A3 with a positive outlook.

It attributed the rating to the Maltese economy’s robust growth dynamics, relatively elevated wealth levels that support the country's shock-absorption capacity, and a stable and conservative domestically oriented banking sector.

It said that its positive outlook reflected Malta’s sustained progress in reducing national debt as well as its robust medium-term growth prospects that are supportive of further improvements in public finances.

It said it expects the Maltese economy to remain strong this year, driven by growth in investment and private consumption. It also expects the government to record a surplus of 1.2 per cent of GDP in 2018. 

On anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations, Moody’s observed that the FIAU had presented an action plan in response to the original recommendations by the European Banking Authority, with the Maltese authorities having also launched an AML/CFT strategy in April 2018. The strategy, it noted, seeks to increase the resources of the relevant supervisory and investigative authorities and strengthen and clarify the supervisory framework, among other things.

Moody’s rated Malta’s institutional strength as High reflecting Malta’s robust policy framework and the important enhancement to the country’s institutions and to the policymaking framework of public-sector entities.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna welcomed the report.  “I am pleased to note that Moody’s is acknowledging our efforts to strengthen the regulatory institutions while sustaining macroeconomic and fiscal stability,” he said in a statement.

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