S&P affirms ratings on Ukraine at 'B-/B' with stable outlook

16:09, 21 April 2018
Economy
594
REUTERS

S&P Global Ratings on April 20, 2018, affirmed its "B-/B" long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Ukraine. The outlook is stable.

"At the same time, we affirmed our 'uaBBB-' Ukraine national scale rating on Ukraine," S&P said in a statement.

"The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the Ukrainian government will pass reforms necessary to draw a fifth tranche under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Those funds, combined with additional disbursements from international donors, would help Ukraine to meet its external repayments coming due over the next 12 months," the report says.

"We could consider a positive rating action if economic growth significantly outperforms our expectations, alongside improvements in fiscal and external imbalances that would allow the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to continue easing its capital account restrictions. We could also raise our ratings on Ukraine if we conclude that the security situation in the nongovernment-controlled areas in Ukraine's east has stabilized and a further escalation is unlikely."

It is reported pressure on the ratings could build if a lack of funding from external donors calls into question Ukraine's ability to meet large external repayments.

"Additionally, we consider that an adverse ruling in Ukraine's legal battle with Russia over a eurobond issued in December 2013 and held by Russia could have fiscal implications, and in a worst-case scenario might create technical constraints on Ukraine's ability to repay its commercial debt, which would exert pressure on the ratings. Irrespective of the ruling at the London court, we expect the case to be appealed to the Supreme Court prolonging the overall proceedings further. We note that the government believes there is no potential for technical constraints on debt service, even in the case of an adverse ruling," S&P said.

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