Standard and Poor’s Investors Service has confirmed British Columbia’s AAA credit rating with a stable outlook, reflecting the Province's very strong financial management, economy, and budgetary flexibility, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
In affirming the AAA-stable rating—the highest possible—Standard and Poor’s writes: “In our opinion, B.C.'s financial management is very strong. The management team is what we consider experienced and qualified to effectively enact fiscal policies, as well as effectively respond to external risks.… We also believe that management of debt and liquidity is prudent. The borrowing strategy is to manage risks by maintaining portfolio duration of about seven years, seeking opportunities to diversify capital market sources, and maintaining liquid benchmarks. We find B.C.'s financial disclosures transparent, comprehensive, and timely. In our view, its financial management practices are the best among the Canadian provinces.”
Standard and Poor’s also says that, “Chief among the province's credit strengths is its robust and diversified economy. Large resource endowments, high-ranking livability, and close proximity to Asian markets underpin its affluent tax base, in our view… In addition, we believe that the province's near-term economic prospects are healthier than those of other western Canadian provinces as a result of its relatively diversified economic base, which mitigates its exposure to commodity prices in the energy sector.”
British Columbia has been rated AAA with Standard and Poor’s since May 2007, when the Province was upgraded from AA+.
Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades and is now the only province rated triple-A by each of the international rating agencies: Moody’s, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch. Moody’s recently affirmed B.C.’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook in January 2017. Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2016. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in March 2017.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong –
“B.C.’s strong economic position is a product of our continued dedication to prudent fiscal planning and measured sustainable spending. We will continue to exercise fiscal discipline, while at the same time cutting costs for middle-class B.C. families, investing in priority programs and services, and promoting our competitive, job-creating provincial economy.”