S&P assigns Albania B+ sovereign rating with stable outlook.

By bne IntelliNews April 20, 2010
International rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) assigned Albania B+ long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings, news portal ADVFN quoted S&P credit analyst Marko Mrsnik as telling the Dow Jones Newswire . S&P also assigned B short-term foreign and local currency ratings to the country. The outlook reflected the countrys relatively low prosperity, high government debt and uncertain political environment. Mrsnik explained that the rating was supported by the economys solid growth performance and expectations for strong long-term potential, the legal framework prioritising debt-service payments and long-term prospects for EU integration. The countrys economy managed to withstand the effects of the global financial and economic crisis relatively well and was one of the few in the SEE region to avoid the 2009 recession, S&P said. Future rating upgrades would be supported by fiscal consolidation and stronger economic growth, while any deviation of debt from official projections could put the rating under downward pressures and downgrade. Since 2007 the country has also been rated by international rating agency Moodys, which in December 2009 confirmed its B1 issuer debt rating with stable outlook. Moodys assigned its rating back in 2007. In March JCR Eurasia Rating, the affiliate of international rating agency Japan Credit Rating (JCR), downgraded by a single notch the long-term sovereign rating to BB from BB+. JCR Eurasia Rating reaffirmed the short-term rating at B. The two ratings were with a stable outlook, revised from the previous negative outlook status.

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