Malaysian rating firm visits Clark




CLARK FREEPORT — Officials of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) recently welcomed sovereign analysts from RAM Ratings Service Berhad to study the investment climate in the Philippines.

The Malaysian analysts’ visit to Clark was arranged by the Investor Relations Office of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (IRO-BSP).

The tour was aimed at helping RAM to better understand the investment climate in the Philippines through a peek at business activities in Clark.

Established in 1990, RAM is a leading credit rating firm in Southeast Asia, providing crucial and independent credit opinions sought after by portfolio investors, fund managers, and other financial industry players in and out of the region for their investment decisions.

The visit to Clark highlighted the vibrant economic activities outside Metro Manila, which is consistent with the aim of the Duterte administration to make the country’s economic growth geographically broad.

The RAM analysts who visited Clark included Esther Lai, head of Sovereign Ratings; and Lynette Lee, Analyst of Sovereign Ratings.

They were accompanied by Editha Martin, executive director of the IRO-BSP; and Rica Amador, Bank Officer V of the IRO-BSP.

The visitors were met by CDC Officer-in-Charge Noel F. Manankil and representatives from several Clark locators belonging to the manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.

Manankil and the locators’ representatives shared with the RAM analysts their positive outlook on the economic climate in Clark and in the whole Philippines.

The locators’ representatives also shared their favorable experiences in doing business in Clark and in the country.

Their inputs are seen to help in RAM’s assessment of the Philippines’ credit profile.

RAM currently assigns the Philippines a global credit rating of gBBB3/stable and a regional rating of seaA2/positive. Both ratings are within the investment grade scale.

These ratings may or may not change, depending on the results of the review by RAM of the Philippines’ latest credit profile.

“RAM analysts noted that they were very impressed with the country’s exceptional economic performance, reflecting its resilient consumption and buoyant investment growth, improvements in governance standards, sustained external strengths, and reduced debt burden,” the IRO-BSP said in a letter to CDC.

The central bank also explained the rationale behind the existing investment-grade credit ratings assigned by RAM to the Philippines.

The IRO-BSP arranged the visit of RAM analysts to Clark as part of the former’s proactive investor relations strategy.

The IRO-BSP, established in 2001, is mandated to undertake a wide range of activities that promote awareness among domestic and international audiences of the Philippine economy, particularly the government’s economic reform programs, macroeconomic developments, and investment opportunities.

The IRO-BSP has expressed its appreciation CDC for supporting the country’s investor relations activities.