Notation de la Tunisie en 2011
Fitch a maintenu la notation des émissions en devises de la Tunisie à « BBB » en la mettant
sous surveillance négative.
Moody’s a dégradé à « Baa3 » la note de la dette souveraine de la Tunisie avec perspective négative.
R & I : a abaissé la notation de la Tunisie a « BBB » en la plaçant sous surveillance négative.
en raison des incertitudes persistantes. La notation de la monnaie locale est révisée à la baisse « BBB+ ».
Le 23 Mai 2012, Standard and Poor's abaisse de deux crans la note de la dette à long terme de la Tunisie à BB.
La Tunisie est ainsi reléguée dans la catégorie spéculatif et la note est assortie d'une perspective
stable n'annonçant donc pas de nouvelle modification pour le court terme. Les raisons de cette détérioration s'expliqueraient selon l'agence par l'incapacité du nouveau gouvernement de transition "de redresser suffisamment l'économie".
|Issuer Credit Rating|
|Ratings||Rating Date||Regulatory Identifiers||
Last Credit Rating Action
|Foreign Long Term||BB||23-May-2012||EU||
|Foreign Short Term||B||23-May-2012||EU|
|Local Long Term||BB||23-May-2012||EU||
|Local Short Term||B||23-May-2012||EU|
|Transfer & Convertibility Assessment|
|Ratings||Rating Date||Regulatory Identifiers||
Last Credit Rating Action
|Local Long Term||BB+||23-May-2012||--|
Communiqué de S&P
FRANKFURT (Standard & Poor's) May 23, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today lowered its long- and short-term foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Tunisia to 'BB/B' from 'BBB-/A-3'. We lowered the long- and short-term local currency ratings to 'BB/B' from 'BBB/A-3'. The outlook is stable. At the same time we lowered our long- and short-term foreign currency issuer credit ratings on the Central Bank of Tunisia to 'BB/B from 'BBB-/A-3' and lowered the long- and short-term local currency ratings to 'BB/B from 'BBB/A-3'. The outlook is stable. The recovery rating on the Central Bank of Tunisia is '3', indicating a "meaningful" recovery in case of default in the range of 50%-70%. The transfer and convertibility (T&C) assessment is revised to 'BB+'. Although overall political stability since the removal of President Ben Ali in early 2011 has stayed within our expectations, we do not believe that Tunisia's transitional government--in office since December 2011--will be able to take proactive corrective measures against a weakening economic and financial backdrop that would be consistent with an investment grade rating. However, once a draft constitution is approved by referendum and parliamentary elections take place (planned for no later than June 2013), we anticipate the new government will find its feet and that Tunisia's political and economic indicators will be more consistent with the 'BB' ratings category. Our stable outlook on the long-term ratings indicates that we believe the political transition should be smooth and the country should withstand potentially considerable external shocks emanating from Europe.
Tunisia's GDP contracted by 1.8% in real terms in 2011 (our previous projection was for zero growth; see "Sovereign Risk Indicators" published Dec. 28, 2011). Lower tourism receipts and a widening trade deficit led to a weaker external liquidity position combined with a rising short-term external debt stock. We anticipate that recovery will be slow, particularly given the weak economic environment in the European Union--by far Tunisia's largest export market and source of foreign direct investment (FDI) and tourists. Unemployment has also risen sharply to be now estimated at more than 18%, since the January 2011 revolution. Increased government spending to support domestic demand and livelihoods helped prevent Tunisia's 2011 recession from deepening, but it led to a sharp deterioration in the public finances. We now anticipate a general government deficit of close to 7.0% of GDP in 2012, higher than our previous forecast of 3.9%. We expect fiscal consolidation to be gradual as economic and social conditions make a more rapid adjustment difficult, with the deficit still above 3.0% of GDP in 2015.
To fund this deficit, we believe general government debt will rise substantially to peak at 49% in 2013, from around 40% in 2010, before stabilizing and gradually declining thereafter. We believe that the government's access to official financing will remain strong as long as an elected government articulates a clear medium-term economic plan. External liquidity has also suffered. Amid a collapse in tourism receipts in 2011, the current account deficit widened sharply to around 7.5% of GDP (two percentage points higher than our previous forecast) and we anticipate that it will remain above 5.0% through to 2015. Both narrow net external debt and gross external financing needs have risen sharply relative to current account receipts (CARs) and official useable reserves. We project Tunisia's 2012 gross external financing needs as a proportion of CARs and useable reserves at around 109%, which we anticipate will be financed by public sector borrowing from official creditors, FDI, and an increase in private sector debt. We believe about $5.2 billion of short-term external debt, comprised mostly of non-resident deposits and trade-related credit, will be fully rolled over.
The ratings continue to be constrained by the country's fragile banking system, which we believe has weak asset quality (see "BICRA On Tunisia Maintained At Group '8'," Nov. 9, 2011). Domestic claims on the private sector grew by 13% in 2011 and we anticipate this to grow by a further 11% in 2012, in part due to widespread restructurings of principal and interest of loans. With per capita GDP currently less than $5,000, Tunisia is a middle-income country with development needs that will stay high in the medium-to-long term, constraining fiscal expenditure flexibility.
Supporting the ratings are a relatively well-diversified economy and well-educated labor force, a broadly supportive business environment, increasing media freedoms, and improving accountability of state institutions. The long-term local currency rating has been equalized with the foreign currency rating at 'BB', as we now do not expect significant progress in moving to a floating exchange rate regime from the current soft peg to a basket of currencies. Under our criteria, greater monetary policy independence is a condition for such a rating distinction.
The T&C assessment of 'BB+' reflects our opinion that the likelihood of the sovereign restricting access to foreign exchange needed by Tunisia-based nonsovereign issuers for debt service is slightly lower than the likelihood of the sovereign defaulting on its foreign-currency obligations. While the government has current account repatriation and foreign exchange surrender requirements in addition to other controls, they are being reduced. However, this process may cease or reverse in a severe downside scenario. The '3' recovery rating on the Central Bank of Tunisia indicates a "meaningful" recovery in case of default in the range of 50%-70%. We assign recovery ratings to all rated speculative grade sovereigns that have a substantial amount of commercial debt outstanding. The recovery analysis assumes that Tunisia might default if high current account imbalances persist and the country's net external liability position rises significantly above its 2003 peak of nearly 240% of CARs, which we do not currently project. External funding could come under pressure if FDI remains constrained by political uncertainties, and the banks, which have significant short-term external debt, experience roll-over problems. Such developments might quickly lead to higher fiscal pressures.
The stable outlook reflects our view that, despite significant uncertainties, the ongoing transition to the scheduled 2013 elections will occur without major political conflict. The outlook also reflects our expectation that Tunisia's fiscal and external imbalances will stabilize and gradually rebalance over the next few years.
We could consider lowering the ratings if the external environment were to weaken beyond our already-pessimistic current expectations for Europe, which is Tunisia's major economic partner. Unexpected political conflicts or unrest on the transition path could also affect the ratings. Conversely, we could eventually raise the ratings if an elected government undertook policies that produce sustained and rapid growth that relieves Tunisia's high unemployment and pressing social needs and restores public finances and external accounts to a sounder footing.
|Niveau de Notation||Moody’s||Standard & Poor’s||Fitch Ratings|
|Notation long terme||Notation long terme||Notation long terme|
|Très bonne qualité||Aaa||AAA||AAA|
|Qualité moyenne inférieure||Baa1||BBB+||BBB+|
|Qualité très spéculative||B1||B+||B+|
|Risque très important||Ca||CCC|
|Possibilité de défaut||C||CCC-|
|Défaut||/||D||DDD / DD / D|