Fitch Ratings said it had decided to maintain Brazil’s BBB investment grade credit rating and predicted the outlook for the Latin America’s largest economy would remain stable. ‘Brazil’s BBB ratings are supported by its strong external liquidity buffer with foreign exchange reserves at 350.6 billion dollars, its net sovereign external creditor status, the flexibility of its macroeconomic policy framework, and a healthy banking system,’ the agency said in a report Tuesday.
Fitch said those strengths will help Brazil in a period of volatility on the world market and assist the country in counterbalancing its weaknesses in other areas, which include the ‘relatively high general government debt burden, limited fiscal flexibility and relatively slow pace of economic reforms’. However, Fitch criticised the weak infrastructure and heavy tax burden in Brazil, saying these problems constrain the country’s business environment.
The Brazilian economy has slowed down this year due to tightening monetary and fiscal policies. Its economic growth in 2012 also will be somewhat compromised by external factors caused by the debt crisis in the US and Euro zone. Despite this unfavourable scenario, Brazil still has favourable medium-term growth prospects, said Fitch. ‘While Brazil is likely to grow below its potential rate in 2011 and 2012, its fiscal and external credit metrics are not expected to be materially affected by the economic slowdown,’ said Shelly Shetty, head of Fitch’s Latin American Sovereign Ratings.