Moody’s confirms Azerbaijan’s sovereign rating

Moody’s confirms Azerbaijan’s sovereign rating

The Moody’s Investors Service international ratings agency has confirmed Azerbaijan’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings at Ba1.

Azerbaijan’s rating was last changed in February 2016.

The Ba1 rating is supported by a number of credit strengths, including sizeable hydrocarbon reserves, which provide substantial revenue to the government; low government debt and low interest payments; and large foreign reserves, held in a sovereign wealth fund, which cushion against internal and external shocks, according to the Moody’s December 2016 report.

“Although Azerbaijan’s public finances are highly sensitive to fluctuations in oil prices, manageable levels of government debt, sizable reserve buffers and high debt affordability provide ample fiscal space,” Trend cited the report as saying.

Moody’s forecasts growth of 1.1% in 2017 and 1.9% in 2018, as hydrocarbon prices increase, credit growth resumes, and increased gas production from the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field comes on stream, the report said.

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