BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 29. The Russian Gazprombank expects affirmation of Azerbaijan’s sovereign rating at BB+ level by Fitch international rating agency following the results of a scheduled review, Deputy Head of the Market Analysis Department of the Russian Gazprombank Gulnara Khaidarshina, told Trend.
According to Khaidarshina, the bank doesn’t exclude the possibility of upgrading the agency’s outlook on Azerbaijan's rating from "Stable" to "Positive"
"This can be facilitated by hydrocarbon prices well above Fitch's forecasts, the growth of Azerbaijan's sovereign fund assets despite external risks, economic growth faster than Fitch's forecasts, including due to new non-oil and gas drivers, as well as the expected decrease in the state budget deficit this year," she said.
Besides, according to the bank’s representative, the probable upgrade of the outlook on Azerbaijan's rating will be positive for the Eurobonds of this sovereign issuer.
Following the previously scheduled review in November 2021, Fitch affirmed Azerbaijan's rating at the BB+ level with a Stable outlook.
The agency retained the up and down factors for Azerbaijan's rating, shown in the outlook which upgraded from "Negative" to "Stable" in May last year. Fitch noted that Azerbaijan's rating is supported by a strong external balance sheet, low leverage, and high funding flexibility, thanks to a significant amount of sovereign fund assets.