Lithuania ready for possible shocks, finance minister says

  • 2020-02-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania is ready for possible challenges that its economy may face amid new global economic and political uncertainties, Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka said on Thursday.   

These uncertainties arise due to global trade tensions, the coronavirus and its effect on the global economy, and Brexit, according to the minister. 

"There are numerous unknowns and we must be prepared for everything," Sapoka told the Ziniu Radijas radio station on Thursday. "I think Lithuania is ready for everything at the moment". 

"We have accumulated reserves, and Lithuania's (credit) ratings are at historic highs and we are borrowing at the lowest interest rates," he added.

The minister says prudent economic governance is bearing fruit and is, therefore, "moderately optimistic".

Fitch Ratings earlier this month upgraded Lithuania's long-term credit rating to A, from -A, marking the first upward revision in six years.  Lithuania is rated A3 by Moody's with a positive outlook, A by Standard & Poor's with a stable outlook, and A by DBRS Morningstar with a positive outlook.

Last June, Lithuania raised 1.5 billion euros through a dual-tranche bond issue in international markets at the lowest interest rates in the country's history. The 10-year 650-million-euro bond pays 0.5 percent annual interest, and the 30-year 850-million-bond pays 1.625 percent. 

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has said that the country will have 1.7 billion euros in its "rainy day" reserve in late 2020.