Business / Economy

S&P: China sovereign ratings affirmed at AA-/A-1+

By Hu Yuanyuan ( Updated: 2012-11-30 16:30

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday affirmed the AA- long-term and A-1+ short-term sovereign credit rating on the People's Republic of China, with the outlook being stable.

The sovereign ratings on China reflect the country's strong economic growth potential, robust external position, and the government's relatively healthy fiscal position, S&P said.

These strengths balance weaknesses related to China's lower average income compared with similarly-rated peers, a general lack of transparency, restricted information flows, as well as an economic policy framework that is still evolving to suit its largely market-based economy.

"We expect no major change in policy directions in China in the wake of the recent top leadership changes," said S&P credit analyst Kim Eng Tan.

"Efforts toward deepening structural and fiscal reforms are likely to continue. We expect the Chinese economy to continue its strong growth while the country maintains its large external creditor position in the next three to five years," Kim added.

S&P projected China's per capita real GDP growth in 2013 to 2015 at 7.3 percent, less than the 10.2 percent average rate of the past five years. It expected China's high domestic savings to be more than sufficient to fund strong investment spending in the near future.

In this base-case scenario, general government debt is expected to increase by an average amount equal to 1.4 percent of GDP each year over 2012-15. General government debt should continue to fall as a share of GDP, with the net general government debt declining to close to 13.4 percent of GDP by 2014, the report said.

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