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Credit Ratings

Credit ratings are assigned to sovereigns and businesses by international credit rating agencies. Credit ratings provide investors with an indication of the creditworthiness of an entity in which they are considering investing.

There are three major internationally recognised credit rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and Fitch Ratings (Fitch). For many years, S&P and Moody’s dominated the market but Fitch has assumed increasing importance in recent years.

New Zealand was first rated by S&P and Moody’s in 1977 and by Fitch in 2002.

The credit rating agencies issue short and long-term ratings for both domestic and foreign-currency debt. The long-term foreign-currency rating is the rating most commonly used. New Zealand’s long-term foreign-currency rating has fluctuated between AAA (Triple A) and AA-/Aa3 over the past three decades. AAA is the highest rating level while a rating in the AA range is also seen as a very high level of creditworthiness.

New Zealand's current credit ratings
Rating Agency Domestic Currency Foreign Currency Latest update

Moody's Investors Service

Aaa (stable outlook) Aaa (stable outlook) 22 December 2016

Standard and Poor's

AA+ (stable outlook) AA (stable outlook) 20 January 2017

Fitch Ratings

AA+ (stable outlook) AA (stable outlook) 17 February 2017
New Zealand's foreign currency credit rating -  history of changes
Date

Standard and Poor's Ratings Group

Moody's Investors Service

Fitch Ratings

26 January 2016 .. .. AA (stable outlook)
8 July 2014 .. .. AA (positive outlook)
30 September 2011 AA (stable outlook) .. ..
29 September 2011 .. .. AA (stable outlook)
22 November 2010 AA+ (negative outlook) re-affirmed .. ..
16 July 2009 .. .. AA+ (negative outlook) re-affirmed
28 May 2009 AA+ (stable outlook) re-affirmed Aaa (stable outlook) ..
13 January 2009 AA+ (negative outlook) re-affirmed .. ..
28 November 2008 .. .. AA+ (stable outlook) re-affirmed
6 August 2008 AA+ (stable outlook) re-affirmed .. ..
16 June 2008 .. Aaa (stable outlook) ..
18 August 2003 .. .. AA+
21 October 2002 .. Aaa ..
27 March 2002 .. .. AA
7 March 2001 AA+ (stable outlook) .. ..
27 March 2000 AA+ (negative outlook) re-affirmed .. ..
24 September 1998 .. Aa2 (stable outlook) ..
10 September 1998 AA+ (negative outlook) .. ..
5 June 1998 .. Aa1 (on review for possible downgrade) ..
30 January 1998 .. Aa1 (negative outlook) ..
February 1996 .. Aa1 (stable outlook) ..
January 1996 AA+ (stable outlook) .. ..
December 1994 AA .. ..
March 1994 .. Aa2 ..
January 1991 AA- .. ..
December 1986 AA .. ..
August 1986 .. Aa3 ..
October 1984 .. Aa ..
April 1983 AA+ .. ..
First rated 1977 AAA Aaa ..
Last updated: 
Thursday, 30 June 2016