S&P raises Russia’s rating to investment grade BBB- from BB+
MOSCOW, Feb 26 (PRIME) -- International rating agency Standard & Poor's Global Ratings (S&P) has raised Russia’s long-term and short-term sovereign credit rating to investment grade BBB- from a speculative BB+, the agency said on February 24.
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Russia’s long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at BBB- with a positive outlook.
Russia’s ratings balance a strong sovereign balance sheet, robust external finances and an improved policy framework against weaker macroeconomic performance than peers, structural weaknesses and geopolitical tensions, Fitch said. The positive outlook reflects continued progress in strengthening the economic policy framework underpinned by a more flexible exchange rate, a strong commitment to inflation targeting and a prudent fiscal strategy.
Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said that S&P’s decision to raise Russia’s investment rating was a delayed reaction to successes of the Russian economic policy.
“A floating exchange rate, inflation targeting, new system of the budget rule contributed to a significant reduction of the Russian economy’s dependence on oil prices. The market estimated the credit quality of Russian financial assets higher than rating agencies already last year,” Oreshkin said.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the assignment of the investment grade rating was a long expected decision that will raise investor interest to the country.
“This is quite a logical and expected decision. Our economy adapted to new conditions very quickly and is showing positive pace of growth,” he said.
“The assignment of the investment rating will certainly raise investor interest to our country and not only to investments in state assets, but in private business as well,” he added.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev said that the upgrade of Russia’s rating reflected investors’ positive perception of the Russian market will allow for launch of dozens of investment projects.