Standard & Poor's keeps AA+ credit rating for Guernsey
Guernsey in the Channel Islands has had its credit rating fixed at AA+ by Standard & Poor's, the American financial services company.
The rating is the highest level that jurisdictions without their own currency are able to achieve under the ratings system in place at the moment.
Standard & Poor's confirmed the rating and described the jurisdiction as having "a wealthy and open economy, generally strong institutional environment, and robust fiscal position based on a prudent fiscal framework and sizeable government assets."
Guernsey, located in the English Channel just off the coast of Normandy, is a possession of the British Crown though not part of the UK or a member of the EU.
This unusual legal position means it has long carried out a role in international finance, and the latest assessment from Standard & Poor's was called a "strong public affirmation of Guernsey's fiscal and economic stability and strength" by the island's Treasury and Resources Minister Gavin St Pier.
The financial services company also cited the island's liquid assets, which amount to 112% of GDP, as a reason for awarding it the highest rating that it is possible for Guernsey to have under the current rating methodology.
St Pier went on to comment: "It is clear that Standard & Poor's is assessing its criteria in relation to 'micro-sovereign' jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, over the course of the next few months. We will work with them in order to understand how any such technical changes might impact Guernsey's future credit ratings ahead of next year's assessment. In the meantime, their decision to maintain Guernsey's credit rating at AA+ is a very positive development."
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