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    Fitch Downgrades Russian Credit Rating Amid Falling Oil Prices

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    The Fitch rating agency has downgraded Russian credit rating from BBB to BBB-.

    WASHINGTON, January 10 (Sputnik) – The Fitch rating agency has downgraded Russian credit rating from BBB to BBB- citing the fall in oil prices and depreciating rouble as the country's economic growth rate is expected to fall to four percent.

    "The economic outlook has deteriorated significantly since mid-2014 following sharp falls in the oil price and the rouble, coupled with a steep rise in interest rates," Fitch said in a statement Friday, explaining the factors behind the decision.

    Fitch maintains a negative outlook on Russian sovereign debt.

    In December, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) announced it could downgrade Russia's sovereign debt status as it gave the country a negative outlook citing monetary weakness and slumping economy.

    S&P has a current BBB- credit rating for Russia. A downgrade, which the rating agency said was 50 percent possible, could possibly cause Russia to lose its sovereign debt status.

    The Russian national currency has contracted by more than half of its value to dollar since July due to the falling global oil prices and Western economic sanctions, prompting the head of the country's Central Bank to predict a 10-percent inflation rate in the first quarter of 2015.

    In December, the Central Bank hiked interest rates first to 10.5 percent from 9.5, and just a while later to 11.5 percentage points in an effort to stabilize the ruble.

    Related:

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    rating, credit, Fitch Ratings, Russia
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