Fitch affirms Azerbaijan`s ratings, changes forecast - Report


April 13, Fineko/abc.az. The negative outlook reflects the impact on the economy of the combined shock from falling oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic on Azerbaijan's external buffers and on macroeconomic stability.

This is stated in the report on Azerbaijan of international rating agency Fitch Ratings. The Agency affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of Azerbaijan in local and foreign currencies at the level of ‘BB+’, and the rating outlook changed from ‘Stable’ to ‘Negative’.

According to the Agency, the affirming of Azerbaijan's GDP at the level of ‘BB+’ reflects a low total public debt (at the level of 19.1% of GDP in 2019).

Fitch notes that since the beginning of 2020 the State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) has sold $2.9 bn at currency auctions, including $1.9 bn in March. In general, SOFAZ has already sold 45% of the foreign currency that it expected to sell during 2020.

The Agency estimates that Azerbaijan has made significant progress in the World Bank's "Ease of doing business" indicators, but the ability to raise significant non-oil foreign direct investments for diversification of the economy remains uncertain.