Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.
ON Tuesday, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) withdrew the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Ba2 issuer rating and ba3 Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA).
Before the withdrawal, the rating outlook on THA was stable.
According to the release, Moody’s rationale behind the withdrawal was for its “own business reasons.”
The THA outlook was changed to “rating withdrawn” from “stable” the same day.
Farley Augustine Chief Secretary and Secretary for the Division of Finance and the Economy could not be reached for comment.
An official within the finance division explained to Newsday this move by Moody’s isn’t something to be concerned over, especially after the Central Government publicly expressed dissatisfaction with TT’s last rating.
Newsday was told there was a contractual agreement between Moody’s and the THA to rate the sovereign bonds to determine its quality on the market. But this rating will not be happening.
Newsday made several attempts to find out more about this agreement between THA and Moody’s and also to get an idea of the possible repercussions Moody’s withdrawal would have on the island
Newsday was also unable to find out what agency the assembly is hoping to use for to provide investors with credit ratings, risk analysis, and research for stocks and bonds.
In 2021, Finance Minister Colm Imbert was disappointed by the rating agency’s negative outlook on TT, considering the global economic crisis caused by the covid19 pandemic leaving the oil and gas market across the world fragile.
That year, Moody’s downgraded TT’s ratings to Ba2 from Ba1 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.
Moody’s website shows TT’s last rating action was released on November 19, 2021. Since then there had been three credit opinions and two announcements of periodic reviews.
Newsday reached out to former secretary for the division of finance and the economy Joel Jack but could not get a comment on the recent development.