Fitch Ratings on Wednesday upgraded the Philippines' long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating to investment grade.
Citing continued solid economic growth and improvements in the country's fiscal management, Fitch lifted the Philippines to BBB-, its lowest investment-grade rating, from BB+.
In its announcement, Fitch said the Philippines' net external creditor position had swelled to 12% of the country's gross domestic product at the end of 2012 from 6% two years before, powered by a “persistent current account surplus, underpinned by remittance inflows.”
Remittance inflows from Philippines citizens working overseas came to 8% of GDP in 2012, helping the country enjoy domestic demand-led growth of 6.6% last year despite a weak global economic backdrop, Fitch said.
Wednesday's move came 21 months after Fitch's previous upgrade, when it raised the Philippines foreign-currency rating to BB+ from BB.
With the upgrade, the Philippines joins other countries in the region with an investment-grade rating, including Indonesia and India with BBB- ratings, Thailand with a BBB+ rating and Malaysia with an A- rating.