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S&P's upgrade on Russia outlook beats Economy Ministry's expectations

On Friday, S&P upgraded Russia's sovereign credit rating outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. The decision by the international rating agency S&P to raise the outlook for Russia's sovereign rating outstripped the expectations of Russia’s Economic Development Ministry, Minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters.

He said that the recent discussion between the ministry and the agency experts contributed to the decision to raise Russia’s rating.

"Previously, we met with S&P analysts, we told them about our plans, the current economic dynamics, the government's forecasts and actions aimed at preparing a plan to increase the economy's growth rate, which affected their expectations and helped to make a decision about a positive outlook earlier than we expected," Oreshkin said.

He added that completion of the plan on structural changes and the beginning of the plan’s implementation were necessary conditions for raising the rating to investment level this year.

On Friday, S&P raised the outlook for Russia's sovereign credit rating to "positive" from "stable", confirming its long-term foreign currency credit rating at "BB +", according to the agency’s press release.

At the same time, the long-term credit rating in the national currency was affirmed at "BBB-".

The agency noted that the revision of the rating outlook reflects the expectation that Russia's GDP will return to the growth trajectory and the Russian economy will continue to adapt to low oil prices while maintaining a relatively low level of public debt in the period from 2017 to 2020.