SINGAPORE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that Singapore's projected budget surpluses for the next two fiscal years continue to support the sovereign's creditworthiness (unsolicited ratings AAA/Stable/A-1+; axAAA/ax-1+).
The government estimates a surplus of Singapore dollars (S$) 3.9 billion (1.1% of GDP) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. That amount would be significantly higher than the government's initial projections. The stronger surplus is attributable to higher-than-expected stamp duties on property transactions and vehicle-related taxes.
Singapore excludes government land sales and a substantial portion of fiscal reserve investment returns from its reported revenue. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Monday the government is budgeting for an overall surplus of S$2.4 billion, or 0.7% of GDP, in the next fiscal year.
We expect Singapore to achieve balanced budgets over the next three to five years despite the government announcement of increases in transfers and spending on various support schemes. Many of the new spending initiatives are either one-off or have limited lifespans. Consequently, they have limited structural impact on the budgetary position. We continue to view Singapore's budgetary position as supportive of the 'AAA' sovereign credit ratings.
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