News - News Releases 2020


Webinar: The impact of the pandemic on European sovereign ratings – Fitch Ratings’ Approach

There are signs that April marked the trough of the recession in Western Europe and that a recovery is on the way. However, the resurgence of the virus in some countries makes the picture asymmetric and highly uncertain. The sharp fall in economic activity so far this year and the policy response imply a marked deterioration in public finances, which has put western European sovereign ratings under some pressure.

Michele Napolitano, head of Western European sovereign team at Fitch Ratings, will discuss Fitch's approach to sovereign ratings in this difficult context, during a Central Bank of Malta public webinar being held on September 14 at 11am.

In this webinar, he will discuss the following topics:

  • the credit impact of the coronavirus crisis on Western European sovereign ratings: Fitch's analytical approach;
  • how the "lower for longer" rate environment impacts Fitch's rating assessment;
  • the impact of the European Recovery Fund on Fitch's ratings and a discussion of whether this constitutes the first step towards a fully-fledged fiscal union;
  • year-to-date rating actions and outlook changes in Western Europe.

Participation is free but those interested are asked to send an email to publicrelation[email protected] in order to be sent a link to the webinar.

Mr Napolitano earned a BSc in international economics from the University of Trieste (Italy) and an MSc in economics from Birkbeck College, University of London. He re-joined Fitch Ratings in December 2016 from Barclays Investment Bank where he was a senior economist in their Risk Department. Prior to this, Michele spent four years with Fitch Ratings where he held various analytical roles in the Sovereign Ratings Group, within the Emerging and Western European teams.

Prior to joining Fitch, Mr Napolitano was an economic adviser to the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and a senior economist for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

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