Malta’s stable outlook was confirmed by ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Tuesday, with the country retaining its overall rating of A-/Stable/A-2.
S&P said the stable outlook reflects its view that Malta will contain the long-term adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its economy and budgetary position thanks to an effective policy response.
The agency said it could raise Malta's ratings if reputational risks lessen materially, while economic and budgetary performance strengthen.
On the other hand, it could move to lower the ratings if the Maltese economy doesn't recover as expected, or if fiscal consolidation progresses significantly slower than anticipated.
In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Robert Abela said that after Moody’s, DBRS and Fitch had all given the island a positive review, S&P had now confirmed Malta’s position.
“They praise MaltGov’s effective fiscal response, saying it underpins recovery,” Abela said.
S&P said its rating on Malta was supported by the country's high income per capita, effective policymaking at the national and European level that has preserved Malta's productive capacity, and moderate government debt levels.
Ratings constraints included persisting concerns on the perceived effectiveness of Malta's anti-money-laundering framework and the small and open economy’s vulnerability to changing macroeconomic and regulatory conditions.