Fitch affirms Macedonia's BB+ rating, outlook is stable.

By bne IntelliNews October 16, 2013

Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings said that it has affirmed Macedonia's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) and senior unsecured bond ratings at BB+ with a stable outlook. The agency has also affirmed the Balkan country’s short-term rating at B and country ceiling at BBB-.

The rating action reflects improving growth prospects; still moderate budget deficit and debt, stable peg of the local currency to the euro with no external imbalances, stable banking sector as well as political risks related to the unresolved name dispute with Greece. Fitch also noted that Macedonia’s income levels and human development indicators are stronger than the BB median.

With regard to the country’s growth prospects, the agency noted that real GDP growth was strong 3.4% y/y in Jan-Jun 2013. “A strong boost from construction in H1 is likely to dissipate in the remainder of 2013, but Fitch forecasts that GDP growth will average 2.7% for the whole year”. The agency also projects that growth will strengthen in 2014-2015, supported mainly by exports and public investment.

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