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Russia’s Fitch rating should be at least two grades higher — Economic Development Minister

July 07, 2015, 13:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On July 3, the international rating agency Fitch confirmed Russia's investment rating at BBB-with a negative outlook
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© EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Russia’s Fitch rating should be at least two grades higher, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters on Tuesday.

According to him the decision of Fitch not to change Russia’s rating on July 3 was predictable.

"I think that the economic rating of Russia should be higher, at least by two grades, first of all taking into consideration macroeconomic stability. Our budget has the minimum deficit and our foreign debt is less than 3% of GDP, and the country’s total debt including the internal debt is less than 11% of GDP. Considering a free float ruble and the volume of reserves accumulated by the Central Bank and the government, one can say that the investment rating is a natural assessment of the Russian economy and finances," Ukyukayev said.

According to the minister, the rating agencies that hastened to downgrade Russia won’t revise their stance in the near future due to political and reputation reasons.

"I think we will have to live with this grade at least through the whole 2015. In 2016 chance for rating revision will be real," Ulyukayev said.

On July 3, the international rating agency Fitch confirmed Russia's investment rating at BBB-with a negative outlook.

The experts who were interviewed by TASS expected Fitch to make this very decision.

Fitch planned to revise Russia’s sovereign rating on April 17 but after the meeting with Finance Minister Anton Siluanov the agencies’ experts refrained from making any changes and took a break for a more detailed study of the economic and financial situation.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said his ministry did not expect that the international rating agency, Fitch would revise Russia's rating.

Standard and Poors rating agency was the first of three international agencies to lower Russia's rating on January 26, 2015 from BBB-to speculative level of BB+. After that, in February, Moody's followed suit and decreased Russia's rating to a speculative rating of BB+.

Fitch was the only of the three international rating agencies that maintains Russia’s rating on the investment grade.

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