The Azerbaijan Finance Ministry is looking forward to receive a new sovereign rating from International Rating Agency Fitch Ratings till the mid of 2007, though earlier it was expected to be received till the end of 2006. A source in the Finance Ministry told Trend, that experts of the Agency held a review at the end of November, 2006, and got acquainted with all issues they had been interested within that visit.
In the beginning of the year, Fitch Ratings confirmed the sovereign ratings of Azerbaijan in the national and foreign currencies at the previous level of BB (like in 2004), with the stable forecast. At the same time, the agency confirmed the short-term rating to the country at the level of B, with the rating of the country ceiling - BB.
The appraisal of the country will be carried out on the basis of the agreement signed between Azerbaijan Finance Ministry and Fitch Ratings considered for three years which was signed in July 2005. According to the agreement, the rating agency will review Azerbaijan economic situation to attach a sovereign rating to the country within 2005-2007. The Finance Ministry will annually envisage about в'¤ 40.000 in the State Budget aimed at Fitch Ratings services.
On September 14, 2006, Azerbaijan gained a sovereign rating from the other international rating agency Moody`s Investor Services for the first time. This rating was one level up than the level according to Fitch Ratings, and one step down than the investment level. According to Moody's, the country gained the rating at the level of Ba1.
The Government hopes that the next tear, the country will gain the investment rating from both agencies. 520,000 AZN has been put into the State Budget 2007 to pay services of the rating agencies.