The global rating agency gave Medellin, the capital of Antioquia department, a rating of BBB- for foreign currency long term and BBB for local currency long-term.
Fitch, one of the big three credit rating agencies along with Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, praised the city’s “role in the Colombian economy, the municipality’s sound fiscal policies, strong socio-economic indicators, high operating margins, significant cash flow from public sector entities, as well as the country’s thorough institutional framework.”
The agency noted the municipality’s prospective debt-burden “which is much higher than historical levels, although manageable.”
Earlier this week, Antioquia was denounced as the most indebted department in Colombia, in a report by the national accounting office, which states that the department is in the red to the tune of $325 million for the first semester of 2010.
Moody’s gave Medellin a rating of Baa3 in February 2010. Fitch also commended “the stability of common dividends transferred from Empresas Publicas de Medellin, which helps financing major investments.”
The big three credit ratings agencies all rated Colombia as investment grade earlier in the year.