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Sovereign ratings wrap: S&P upgrades Georgia; Fitch revises outlook on Cyprus

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Sovereign ratings wrap: S&P upgrades Georgia; Fitch revises outlook on Cyprus

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a summary of ratings actions on sovereigns and other key territories from Oct. 7 to Oct. 13.

EUROPE

* S&P Global Ratings upgraded Georgia's long-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings to BB from BB-, with a stable outlook, citing the country's resilience in maintaining average GDP growth of 4% between 2015 and 2018 amid spells of falling external demand and its success in receiving foreign funds to aid investment needs and external deficits. The rating agency affirmed Georgia's short-term ratings at B.

* Fitch Ratings revised the outlook on Cyprus' long-term foreign- and local-currency ratings to positive from stable, citing the island's prudent fiscal stance and strong economic recovery. Fitch affirmed Cyprus' long- and short-term ratings at BBB-/F3, reflecting its robust per capita GDP and governance indicators.

* Fitch affirmed Latvia's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at A-/F1, with a stable outlook, citing the country's moderate budget deficits and low government debt levels, offset by a lower income level and high GDP volatility and net external debt levels. The ratings also reflect Latvia's robust public finance metrics and institutional strengths, on the back of its EU membership and eurozone reserve currency flexibility.

* Fitch affirmed Uzbekistan's long- and short-term ratings at BB-/B, with a stable outlook, citing its robust sovereign balance sheet, low government debt and high growth rate, offset by low per capita GDP, weak institutional and governance levels, high commodity dependence and high inflation.

* Moody's affirmed Belgium's Aa3 long-term ratings, with a stable outlook, citing a strong economic profile facing medium-term challenges, gradually declining debt load and robust institutional strength amid a complex government structure and political uncertainty.

AMERICAS

* DBRS confirmed Canada's long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer ratings at AAA/R-1 (high), with a stable trend, citing the country's large and diverse economy, prudent macroeconomic policy making, strong governing institutions and public finances and its ability to absorb shocks.

ASIA

* Moody's placed Vietnam's Ba3 issuer ratings under review for downgrade, citing institutional weakness stemming from delayed payments on an obligation by the government. The country's weaknesses reflect inefficient coordination and planning among various divisions of the government, the rating agency said.

* S&P affirmed Hong Kong's long- and short-term ratings at AA+/A-1+, with a stable outlook, citing their expectations of the territory's strong credit metrics to bear the fallout from the current social and political unrest. The rating agency said the action also reflects the region's effective policy making resulting in high per capita income and stable fiscal performance, strong external balance sheet and credible monetary institutions, offset by a pegged exchange rate regime and limitation in responding to societal demands.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Fitch affirmed Ghana's long- and short-term ratings at B/B, with a stable outlook, citing favorable medium-term growth, strong governance indicators and improving public finances, offset by a potential fiscal slippage, external vulnerabilities and a weak banking sector. Ghana's low human development indicators and high dependence on commodity exports also add pressure to the ratings, Fitch said.

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