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MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. Stabilization of the ruble and crude oil prices will help Russia avoid further credit rating downgrade in April, the US-based Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report Wednesday.
The two international rating agencies S&P and Fitch plan to publish updated sovereign rating of the Russian Federation on April 17. "Though Russia’s sovereign rating has already been downgraded below investment grade the OFZ treasury bonds market still remains in the investment grade, according to Fitch and S&P. Thus, the decision by Fitch may potentially be critical for the market," BofA Merrill Lynch Chief Economist for Russia and CIS Vladimir Osakovsky said in a report Wednesday.
One more rating downgrade may press the OFZ market below investment grade, which may lead to some weakening of the market amid expectations of compulsory sales of investors tied to benchmarks of investment grade, he said.
Currently, Fitch is the only agency rating Russia at the investment grade. In February, Moody’s downgraded Russia’s sovereign rating to Ba1. It was the second global rating agency after Standard & Poor's to downgrade Russia’s sovereign rating to speculative grade.