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IHS Markit upgrades Russia’s sovereign risk rating

Europe / 05-04-17 / by
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St Basils cathedral on Red Square in Moscow.

Market intelligence company IHS Markit has upgraded Russia’s sovereign risk rating to enable it to regain the lowest investment grade status.

The move comes on the back of policy actions taken by the Russian government to support the economy during the commodity price crash and the more recent recovery of oil prices.

Like other commodities exporting countries, Russia has experienced a deterioration in finance and growth as a consequence of the drop in oil and gas prices.

“Greater foreign exchange liquidity as oil prices regain some ground and a decrease in net capital outflows have pushed the medium-term sovereign risk rating to minimum investment grade,” says senior manager for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe at IHS Markit, Charles Movit.

“Russia can expect some modest growth to resume over 2017, further gains in oil prices and the return to economic expansion, albeit at much more moderate pace than seen prior to the global recession.”

Russia was swift to let the rouble fall and raise interest rates in the face of lower oil prices. The budget was also revisited to limit capital spending and the widening of the fiscal deficit.

IHS Markit’s director of sovereign risk, Jan Randolph, says: “Unlike others, such as Nigeria and the smaller African and CIS energy producers whose policy road maps out of trouble have been slower and less clear, Russia, like Brazil, has had the advantage of being here before in the face of commodity crashes and knew what to do; painful and politically difficult though these policy response measures often are.”

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