Moody's Assigns B1 Rating To Belarus' Inaugural Bond Issue

(RTTNews) - International ratings agency Moody's has assigned a B1 rating to Belarus' first ever foreign currency sovereign bond.

The country raised $600 million selling a five-year bond on Monday. The bond was the country's first issuance in the global capital markets and came just a few months after the government concluded its 15-month stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund in April.

Moody's said Belarus' public finances had stabilized following the IMF program, although pointed to the country's high current account deficit as a concern. "Belarus' low economic resiliency is reflected in its high GDP volatility, a function of its concetrated and energy-intensive economy," said Dietmar Hornung, lead analyst for Belarus at Moody's.

The agency said Belarus' "external vulnerabilities" were an important ratings constraint. "Russia's imposition of a 30% export duty on crude oil transshipped through Belarus is putting additional pressure on the external financing situation," it added.


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