Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


S&P keeps EQC's AAA credit rating despite blow-out

S&P keeps EQC's AAA credit rating unchanged after earthquake cost blows out

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) – Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed the Earthquake Commission’s ‘AAA’ rating after the cost of the Canterbury quakes blew out by $4 billion to $7.1 billion.

The rating agency said the New Zealand government is “almost certain” to stump up any extra support the disaster funding agency needs if there is extra stress, even though the EQC’s “standalone creditworthiness has materially deteriorated.”

Finance Minister Bill English today said the extra cost will push out the budget deficit to $18 billion for the financial year ended June 30 and puts the government on the hook for any added liability after drawing down the entirety of the $6 billion Natural Disaster Fund.

“We believe any shortfall will be met by the EQC calling on its government guarantee,” the rating agency said.

S&P didn’t add any extra comment to New Zealand’s sovereign rating, which is ‘AA+’ on a negative outlook, as it is working through the implications of the revised estimates.

English affirmed his commitment to keep net debt at below 30% of gross domestic product, and said he still expects the budget to return to surplus in the 2014/15 financial year.

The New Zealand dollar was little changed on the S&P statement, recently trading at 85.21 U.S. cents, and is up from 84.50 cents this morning.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


FIRST Union: Do Shareholders Realise Marsden Point Conversion Could Cost More Than Half A Billion Dollars?

FIRST Union, the union representing workers at Refining NZ, are querying whether shareholders voting on Friday on whether to convert the Marsden Point refinery to an import-only terminal realise the conversion could cost $650-700 million dollars... More>>

Civil Contractors: Massive Rebound In Civil Construction Business Confidence

New Zealand’s civil construction industry is riding a massive rebound in post-pandemic business confidence – but this may be undermined by skills shortages, which continue to be the industry’s number one challenge... More>>

Energy: Feeling Our Way Towards Hydrogen - Tina Schirr

Right now hydrogen is getting a lot of attention. Many countries are focusing on producing hydrogen for fuel, or procuring it, or planning for its future use... More>>

Transport: July 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Boosted By EV Rebate Scheme
Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that July 2021 sales of new vehicles were boosted by the recently introduced rebate scheme. July 2021 registrations were 15,053 units compared to 12,263 units for July 2020... More>>

ASB: New Support Finder Tool Helps Connect Customers With Thousands In Government Support

ASB research alongside benefit numbers from the Ministry of Social Development shows an increased number of Kiwis are struggling financially, and many may not be aware they’re eligible for government support... More>>

Housing: New Home Consents Continue To Break Records

A record 44,299 new homes were consented in the year ended June 2021, Stats NZ said today. “The annual number of new homes consented rose again in the June 2021 year, the fourth consecutive month of rises,” construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said... More>>