LV: S&P to assess Latvia's situation.

By bne IntelliNews March 27, 2012
Standard & Poor's is going to start its mission in Latvia at the end of this week, LETA reports citing FinMin. FinMin, state secretary and representatives of other ministries are going to meet with the mission. At the end of January, Bank of Latvia spokesperson Martins Gravitis announced that central bank anticipates Latvia's sovereign rating upgrade after major rating agencies will visit the country in the coming spring. This came as a comment to Japanese rating agency's Rating and Investment Information decision to upgrade Latvia's rating by one notch to BBB-/Stable. Gravitis noted that Latvia is one of few European countries that could rely on a stable or even positive rating action in current economic environment. However, economic analysts surveyed by BNS following CB's announcement were sceptical on the prospects on rating upgrade given the deteriorating external environment. Fitch Ratings lowered the outlook on Latvia's sovereign ratings from Positive to Stable in December 2011. The agency attributed the downgrade to rapid deterioration of the external environment and the increased instability in the financial sector. Fitch believed that the crisis in the eurozone will have a negative effect on Latvia's exports. Currently Fitch's long-term foreign currency rating for Latvia stands at BBB-, Moody's foreign and local currency rating for Latvia at Baa3 (outlook Positive), while S&P's credit rating at BB+ (Positive outlook).

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