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French Sovereign Debt: Maintenance of the Triple-A Rating by the Fitch Agency

French Sovereign Debt: Maintenance of the Triple-A Rating by the Fitch Agency

Published on December 21, 2011
Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry

Paris, December 16, 2011.

François Baroin, Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry, notes the confirmation of the triple-A rating for French sovereign debt.

The agency has also revised its long-term outlook from stable to negative in view of the risks hanging over the Euro Area and has added that this rating should not change before 2013, barring exceptional circumstances.

François Baroin notes that the Fitch agency also confirmed France’s status as an exemplary sovereign issuer and recalled that the government has taken measures to boost the credibility of the budgetary consolidation effort.

François Baroin emphasizes several points:

- The European summit of 9 December allowed major steps forward, particularly on economic convergence, Euro Area governance and budgetary stability.

- Those Euro Area countries experiencing difficulties have embarked on very vigorous measures to put their public finances in order.

- France’s level of off-balance-sheet liabilities is among the lowest of those countries with triple-A ratings, thanks in particular to the 2010 pensions reform.

- The European Banking Authority recently revised downwards by more than €1 billion the French banks’ own funds requirements for complying with their recapitalization commitments by June 2012. These operations will not require any injection of public capital.

- The exceptional support measures announced by the European Central Bank on 8 December guarantee the whole European banking system a satisfactory level of liquidity.

François Baroin recalls that the government’s economic policy is part of a long-term framework and method. The government is determined to continue its efforts to boost growth, competitiveness and employment and reduce the public deficits.

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