Fitch Ratings recognizes Puerto Rico government’s progress
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings issued a comment highlighting the importance of the government of Puerto Rico’s publication of audited financial statements for the fiscal year 2021 and emphasizing the improvements in reliability, timeliness and access to relevant information for capital markets.
In its commentary, Fitch maintained that the government’s ability to sustain the demonstrated improvements in budget practices, as well as financial and economic reports, is key to the agency’s investigative process to reform a credit opinion on Puerto Rico.
“This comment from Fitch shows the results of Governor Pierluisi’s commitment to get the Government up to date in the publication of financial statements,” said the executive director of the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish), Omar Marrero, who added that the commentary “speaks volumes” about the efforts of the Treasury Department and AAFAF to improve the the government’s financial and economic information.
“There are many financial and fiscal achievements under the leadership of the Governor, including the implementation of the debt adjustment plans of the central government and the Highway and Transportation Authority (HTA) in March and December 2022, respectively, ending bankruptcy of the Government and the HTA under Title III of PROMESA [Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act], the publication of audited financial statements of the Government for fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021, liquidity and budget reports and the holding of two forums in Puerto Rico and New York to share progress status with capital market participants,” said Marrero, who is also the island’s secretary of State.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés said he was satisfied with the recognition from Fitch Ratings and acknowledged the commitment of his work team to ensuring that Puerto Rico is once again compliant with the financial disclosure requirements within the established timeline as per agreements with capital markets.
“Last week, we issued the fifth Audited Financial Statements report under our direction. The work has been hard, but we are very satisfied with the work carried out by our team, which is very committed to the goal of updating the financial statements, an important step to get out of PROMESA and achieve the financial transparency that our island deserves and needs,” said Parés.
Meanwhile, Marrero acknowledged that there is still work to be done, starting with the publication of the government’s financial statements for fiscal year 2022 and being on time with the publication of the statements for fiscal year 2023, as well as finishing the pending restructuring processes, such as that of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, but stressing the importance of validating the progress achieved to date.