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LatinNews Daily - 01 May 2019

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In brief: Panama

*Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has raised Panama’s long-term rating from 'BBB' to 'BBB+' based on its consistently strong economic growth and stable fiscal policy. According to S&P, the country’s outlook is 'stable'. Eyda Varela de Chinchilla, head of the economy & finance ministry (MEF), affirms that the rating is “in line with the country’s sustainable growth over the past few years; the diversification of the economy, which has doubled GDP per capita; stable changes made to administration; and improvements in the transparency and regulation of the financial system”. MEF statistics show that GDP per capita has grown on average 3.7% in the past decade and is forecast to reach US$16,000 in 2019. With the 5 May general election imminent, the S&P report acknowledges the importance of the next administration continuing recent efforts to improve regulations and transparency in order to reduce financial risk.