S&P Global Ratings boosted Saudi Arabia’s credit score, citing recent reforms that have improved the country’s economy, fiscal stance and debt management.
(Bloomberg) — S&P Global Ratings boosted Saudi Arabia’s credit score, citing recent reforms that have improved the country’s economy, fiscal stance and debt management.
The agency lifted the nation’s rating by a notch to A, the sixth-highest score, on par with Chile and Iceland. S&P assigned a stable outlook to Saudi Arabia, according to a Friday statement.
“The upgrade is underpinned by Saudi Arabia’s sustained reform momentum in recent years, alongside its leadership role in global oil markets.” analysts including Ravi Bhatia, Zahabia Gupta wrote. “The economy will continue to benefit from Saudi Arabia’s leading role as the largest individual oil exporter globally.”
S&P cited measures to drive non-oil economic growth, supported by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund-led non-oil investments and to widen the non-oil tax base, as well as significant social liberalization, which should strengthen consumer demand.
Fitch Ratings assigns the Gulf Coast nation the same score as S&P, while Moody’s Investors Service has it at A1, one level higher. Moody’s raised its outlook on the country to positive on Friday, also citing reforms that will reduce Saudi Arabia’s reliance in hydrocarbons and its exposure to crude cycles, according to a Friday statement.
Read more: Saudi Arabia Says Fiscal Expansion to Balance Out Fed Hikes
The government’s latest fiscal outlook, unveiled in December, showed it expected to run a surplus of 16 billion riyals ($4.3 billion) in 2023, nearly double its previous estimate. The economy is forecast to expand 3.1%.
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