Gazprom and other Russian firms likely to default, says Fitch

For ratings agency Fitch, it is “likely” that 28 Russian natural resources companies will not honor their financial commitments because of the conflict with Ukraine.

Rating agency Fitch on Saturday downgraded the ratings assigned to the debt of 28 Russian groups exploiting natural resources, estimating “some form of payment default is likely”.

Fitch downgraded gas giant Gazprom, oil company Lukoil, miners Rusal, Polis, Average and 23 other resource companies from B to ‘CC mostly’, meaning it is ‘likely’ that these companies will meet their financial commitments. do not respect.

Another rating agency Moody’s also downgraded Gazprom and Lukoil’s ratings this week, indicating a very high risk of non-reimbursement.

For the rating agency, the authorization given by the Russian government to reimburse debts contracted with countries listed as “hostile” countries could compromise the ability of these companies to pay their creditors on time.

The list includes countries in the European Union, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Monaco, South Korea, the United States, Switzerland, and Japan, among other countries.

Russia’s economy weakened by sanctions

The measure is part of a series of attempts by the Russian government and the country’s central bank to limit the collapse of the national currency, the ruble, which has lost half its value since January 1 due to sanctions imposed on Moscow. West after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Fitch further states that “the continued tightening of sanctions, including restrictions on trade and energy imports, increases the likelihood of a political backlash from Russia, and further weakens its economy, eroding the operating environment of its companies”.

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The United States on Tuesday announced a ban on Russian oil and gas imports, like the United Kingdom for oil.

In early March, three major rating agencies ranked Russia’s long-term debt rating as a category of countries most likely to be unable to repay their debt due to the accumulation of sanctions against them. Fitch later lowered its rating further, indicating that the risk of a sovereign default was “imminent” in its view.

The lower the credit rating, the lesser is the confidence of lenders in the country and less able to borrow money at reasonable interest rates.

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