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S&P confirms Russia’s rating at BB+ with negative outlook

February 17, 2016, 21:57 UTC+3

The long-term national currency rating was confirmed at "BBB-"

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Standard & Poor's confirmed the long-term currency credit rating of Russia at the level of "BB+" with the negative outlook, the international rating agency said on Wednesday. The long-term national currency rating was confirmed at "BBB-", S&P said.

The short-term foreign currency and national currency ratings of Russia were confirmed at "B" and "A-3" levels respectively.

S&P were to revise the Russia’s rating on March 18 in accordance with its calendar. However, the rating was reconsidered earlier in view of the downward revision of the oil prices outlook, the rating agency said.

According to the new assumption of S&P, an average Brent oil price is expected to be $40 per barrel in 2016 and only $50 a barrel in 2018 and thereafter. Nevertheless, "we do not project a material worsening in our economic, fiscal, and external assessments, and have therefore affirmed our ratings on Russia," the rating agency reported.

"Declining domestic purchasing power, as a result of exchange rate depreciation and rising inflation, will hamper Russia's growth prospects," S&P said.

The sanctions on Russia are likely to remain in place over the forecast horizon, the rating agency said. "However, the situation remains fluid and, should sanctions ease, one possible consequence could be a boost to the Russian economy." S&P added.

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