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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. S&P international rating agency can upgrade the sovereign credit rating of Russia from speculative BB+ to investment grade BBB-at the turn of 2017 or early in 2018, experts question by TASS said on Wednesday.
Russia can return to the category of nations with the investment grade rating by the end of 2017, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Wednesday. Moody’s and Fitch rating agency changed outlooks for the Russian economy from negative to stable and S&P upgraded the rating outlook to positive on March 17, the prime minister said. Russia at present has only one investment grade rating from Fitch.
"Agencies cannot maintain the outlook unchanged for a long time. They should either change the outlook or upgrade the rating after some time. I think it can take place early next year," chief economist for Russia and CIS of Renaissance Capital Oleg Kuzmin said.
S&P can upgrade the Russian rating already in September, chief economist of BKS Vladimir Tikhomirov said. "It is not ruled out that S&P may upgrade the rating. Considering S&P’s plan, they will review the Russia’s rating again in mid-September 2017," he said.
Furthermore, remaining sanctions will not be an obstacle for S&P to upgrade the Russian rating, Raiffeisenbank analyst Denis Poryvai said. "I believe a situation may occur when sanctions remain the same but the rating is upgraded. Again, if the oil price is favorable and there are no political uncertainties," the analyst said. The rating can be changed in eighteen month after the rating outlook change, he said. "They can upgrade the sovereign rating within this year in this case," Poryvai added.