Standard and Poor’s

Bulgaria’s government has been besieged by protesters for six months, and oversees an economy that has averaged growth of just 1 per cent since 2010. Those were the main factors behind Standard & Poor’s recent decision to revise its outlook for the country to “negative” from “stable”.

The change may be unwelcome, but merely reflects the difficult economic and political situation. Will it affect Bulgaria’s fledgling recovery? Read more

African growth is soaring away, as anyone who has looked at the IMF figures can tell you. Meanwhile, governments are able to tap the international debt markets, as investors are still willing to snap up bonds from established and first-time issuers.

So credit ratings should be on the up too, shouldn’t they? If debt is backed by growth, doesn’t credit risk decrease? Not so fast, says Standard and Poor’s. Read more

The best gamblers know when to get out of the game, rather than throwing money at a losing bet in the hope it comes good.

With that in mind, let us look at Russia – and specifically, its credit rating. Read more

Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Slovenia on Tuesday to junk status, citing its weak banking system. After its being so often compared to Cyprus, you might think that’s fair enough.

But the downgrade leaves Slovenia in something of an odd position: it now has the widest range of ratings from the three main agencies out of any sovereign. Why the spread? Read more

The bad news just keeps on coming for OGX Petróleo e Gas Participações, the fledgling oil company owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista.

Having already tired the patience of both its shareholders and bondholders, it’s now the turn of Standard & Poor’s to throw its hands up at the company.

The rating agency on Thursday cut its ratings on OGX from B to B-, taking it six notches below investment grade. Read more

Mali’s economic isolation is helping west African rated sovereigns avoid revisions to their creditworthiness, said Standard & Poor’s in a note released on Thursday night covering Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia

FDI and portfolio flows between Mali and its neighbours are small and regional capital markets are underdeveloped. Trade and investment linkages are weak due to tariffs, poor infrastructure, low incomes and inefficient customs procedures. Read more

After more than two years of policy paralysis, India’s Congress-led government has reignited a mood of optimism in India with a series of ‘big-bang’ reforms designed to send a message that India remains open for business and to reinvigorate the slowing economy. The rupee rebounded from historic lows against the dollar, and the Bombay Stock Exchange climbed upwards to highs not seen for more than one-and-a-half years.

But despite the sudden, dramatic shift in the public sentiment, credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s this week issued a timely reminder that India’s problems are far from solved. Read more

The fallout from Vietnam’s slow-burn economic and banking crisis continues to spread.

On Friday, Moody’s downgraded the Communist-ruled state’s sovereign credit rating because soaring bad debts have limited banks’ ability to lend, damaging the country’s medium-term growth prospects and raising the spectre of a costly government banking bailout. Read more

With the IMF in town, Egypt’s finances have been under the spotlight this week. Standard and Poor’s have chipped in to the discussion with the release of their credit rating for the country.

The good news: Egypt has been taken off S&P’s CreditWatch, where it was placed on June 25 following feuding between SCAF and Islamist politicians which led to the dissolution of parliament on June 14. It has also had its long and short-term B/B rating affirmed. The bad news: despite a modicum of stability recently, it remains on negative outlook. Read more