S&P rating firm raises Russia to investment grade

Maxim Shemetov /Reuters
Prudent economic and monetary policies push the country into higher territory.

S&P Global Ratings has elevated Russia’s sovereign credit to “BBB-,” bringing it to investment grade. Russia since 2015 had been rated “BB+,” a speculative category that hindered foreign investment in the country.

The ratings firm attributed its upgrade on Feb. 23 to Russia’s conservative macroeconomic management, strong position in net external assets, low government debt, and relatively high monetary flexibility including a flexible exchange-rate regime.

“We expect Russia’s economic recovery to continue through 2021, having exited recession in 2017,” S&P Global said. Its outlook for Russia is “stable.”

Among the “big three” US-based credit rating firms, only Moody’s continues to hold Russia at the speculative, or “junk,” level. For most investors, especially institutional ones, an investment-grade rating from S&P and Fitch would be sufficient to renew investment in Russia.

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