S&P Raises Korea's Credit Rating to AA

  • By Shon Jin-seok

    August 09, 2016 09:42

    Credit rating firm Standard & Poor's on Monday raised Korea's sovereign rating one notch from AA- to AA, the third-highest on its 21-tier rating scale and the country's highest so far.

    Only four of the G20 countries – Australia, Canada and Germany (AAA) and the U.S. (AA+) -- have a higher rating, and Korea is now on a par with Belgium, France and the U.K.

    Korea's new rating is one notch higher than China's (AA-) and two notches above Japan's (A+).

    Rival firms Moody's and Fitch have already put Korea ahead of China and Japan.

    Korea's GDP is growing two to three percent, higher than the average 0.3-1.5 percent growth range of advanced countries, S&P said in a statement. "The upgrade reflects our assessment that Korea's strong record of steady growth has generated a prosperous economy, greater fiscal and monetary flexibility, and continual improvements in external metrics."

    "The stable outlook on the long-term ratings is predicated on our expectation that longstanding geopolitical risks will not escalate materially to the point of damaging Korea's credit metrics," it added. "We expect the rating to remain unchanged over the next two years."

    The Finance Ministry here said it seems the firm expects no sudden upheaval on the Korean Peninsula.

    S&P predicted that Korea's per capita GDP will cross US$30,000 in 2019.

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