Baku, Azerbaijan, March 12
By Aygun Badalova -Trend:
Fitch Ratings has assigned Azerbaijan's USD1.25 billion (bn), 2024 eurobonds a 'BBB-' rating, in line with the sovereign's foreign currency Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR), the agency reported on its official website.
Fitch stressed in its report that the country's oil output was stabilising after a 15-percent decline since the 2010 peak, improving the short-term outlook for growth and public finances.
Strong sovereign balance sheet, with sovereign assets held in the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) reached 49 percent of GDP at end-2013, according to the report. The 2014 budget calls for a reduction in reliance on oil revenue in the form of transfers from SOFAZ.
Azerbaijan is estimated to have recorded a current account surplus of 17 percent of GDP in 2013, and Fitch forecasts it will continue to record surpluses.
Fitch assumes that the price of oil, Azerbaijan's main export and source of budget revenue, will average $105 per barrel in 2014, and $100 per barrel in 2015.
Fitch assumes that oil production stabilises in 2014 and 2015.