Fitch, the international rating agency has affirmed Azerbaijan’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) at ‘BB+’ with a stable outlook.
According to the agency, Azerbaijan’s large external buffers have been preserved during the pandemic and are supported by the higher oil price. Sovereign foreign-currency assets, for example, from $49.9 billion at end-2020 rose to $51.2 billion at end-3Q21.
Fitch forecasts the current account returns to a surplus of 7.9% of GDP in 2021, from last year’s deficit of 0.5%, before narrowing to average 5.3% in 2022-2023, mainly driven by our lower forecast average oil price of $55 per barrel in 2022 and $53 per barrel in 2023, from $63 per barrel this year.
In August, Fitch Ratings affirmed Kazakhstan’s IDR at ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook. The agency believes that stronger oil prices and base effects will drive positive real GDP growth at 3.5% this year and 4.0% in 2022.