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Moody's cuts Nigeria's long-term ratings

Moody's on April 29 lowered Nigeria's long-term issuerratings to B1 from Ba3, with a stable outlook, concluding a review fordowngrade that the agency launched in March.

The factors that prompted the downgrade include heightenedexternal vulnerability caused by the possibility of lower-for-longer oil pricesand an increased interest burden over the next two years while the governmentboosts its tax receipts from non-oil sectors.

Moody's said the outlook reflects the fact that thecountry's credit fundamentals will continue to compare favorably with otherstates at the B1 level despite the likelihood that its credit metrics willfurther deteriorate due to the oil price slump.

The agency also downgraded Nigeria's long-termforeign-currency bond ceiling to Ba3 from Ba2; its long-term foreign-currencydeposit ceiling to B2 from B1; and the long-term local-currency bond anddeposit ceilings to Ba1 from Baa3.