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Fitch affirms Bermuda rating at A+

Fitch: Affirmed and withdrew Bermuda's A+ credit rating

Fitch Ratings last night said it had affirmed its credit rating on Bermuda Government debt at A+.

The New York-based rating agency also withdrew the rating “for commercial reasons”, an explanation that usually means the agency is no longer being retained by the body it is rating.

Fitch said Bermuda’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) remained at ‘A+’ with a stable outlook.

“Real GDP has declined since 2008 and public debt has risen from a low base to around 40 per cent of GDP,” Fitch stated.

“However, Bermuda’s ratings are supported by its high income (GDP per capita is among the highest of Fitch-rated sovereigns), consistent current account surpluses and strong net external creditor position.

“A sophisticated legal system, strong regulatory framework, simple tax regime, proximity to the US and skilled human capital allow Bermuda to maintain a competitive advantage as a domicile for reinsurance and financial services companies.

“Fitch is withdrawing the ratings for commercial reasons. Accordingly, Fitch will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage for the issuer.”

Fitch said the key assumptions built into its forecasts were that Bermuda’s real GDP would stabilise in 2015-2016, and that Bermuda would maintain its attractiveness as an insurance and reinsurance jurisdiction.