Standard & Poor’s International Rating Agency (S&P) has raised the ratings of several major Russian state companies – Gazprom, Transneft, Gazprom Neft, Rosseti, FGC UES, RusHydro, Russian Railways, Federal Passenger Company (FPC) and Atomenergoprom after Russia’s credit rating increased last week. The long-term foreign currency ratings of the above companies have been raised up to the lowest point of the investment grade.
Rosneft’s rating has been confirmed at the highest point of the speculative grade: BB+ with a positive outlook. Vedomosti is waiting for the Company’s comments.
Besides, the ratings of VEB, Alfa-Bank, BNP Paribas and UniСredit Bank have been raised, their outlook being stable.
Last weekend, S&P improved the Russian Federation foreign and local currency credit ratings from BB+/BBB- up to BBB-/BBB with a stable outlook. Thus, the country rating of Russia has been moved from the speculative to the investment grade. Thereafter Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development, reported that the economic stability would allow Russia to expect A-grade investment rating in several years. According to him, the Russian sovereign rating increase is a late response to the successful Russian economic policy, though it will promote capital inflow into the economy.
Earlier this week, the Russian market has responded to the S&P’s rating decision by marked growth: the USD – ruble rate has dropped below 56 rubles per USD, and EUR – ruble is now under 69 rubles per EUR. After increase of the S&P rating, the only international agency of the “big three” keeping the Russian rating at the speculative grade is Moody’s. However, its experts would not exclude a rating decrease, should the Russian banks’ creditability be affected by additional sanctions and even more restricted access to the international capital markets.
In January 2015, S&P became the first of the big three rating agencies to decrease the Russian sovereign rating to the speculative grade BB+ with a negative outlook.