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Fitch Ratings affirms Kazakhstan's Long-term foreign and local currency IDRs at 'BBB+' and 'A-' respectively

15 november 2013, 11:11
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Fitch Ratings has affirmed Kazakhstan's Long-term foreign and local currency IDRs at 'BBB+' and 'A-' respectively. The Outlooks on the Long-term IDRs are Stable. The Country Ceiling is affirmed at 'A-' and the Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'F2', Tengrinews reports citing the company's November 14 message.

According to the Company’s press-release, Kazakhstan has a strong sovereign balance sheet, with low debt and the third-highest net sovereign foreign assets in the 'BBB' category, estimated at 42% of GDP. The main sovereign wealth fund, The National Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NFRK), added USD10.9bn between January and October 2013, putting it on course to surpass USD100bn by end-2015.

Although domestic demand is slowing, Fitch expects the economy to grow by around 5% in 2013-2014, rising to 6% in 2015, boosted by higher oil output as the long-delayed Kashagan oilfield reaches commercial production levels. Kashagan started production in September 2013 before output was halted by technical problems. It will resume in 2014.

The Company emphasizes that Kazakhstan’s commodity dependence is high. Oil and gas account for 70% of goods exports. Including metals and ores, commodities account for at least 90% of exports.

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