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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Russian economic minister: S&P downgrade would be costly

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Monday that a downgrade from Standard and Poor's has the potential to cost the country between $20 billion and $30 billion.

The international rating agency said recently that Russia had been placed on the negative-credit watch list because of high volatility and the resulting weakening of its economy. Currently, the country rates at BBB- in long-term foreign currency obligations and a BBB for national currency obligations.

“The placement of the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications reflects Standard & Poor's view that there is at least a one-in-two likelihood of a negative rating action within 90 days,” the rating agency said.

The minister said a lowering of the rating would have material consequences, specifically on repayment schedules.

“The covenants stipulated in loan agreements and the terms of bond placements will be triggered, and we’ll get some additional early repayment, aside from the original repayment schedule,” Ulyukayev said.

The minister also said the federation plans to have a resolution to the negative watch placement by the middle of January.

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