19:16 GMT27 October 2020
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    Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions on 13 major Russian corporations, including Gazprom, LUKOIL and Russian Railways among others. This comes after Fitch downgraded Russia's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to 'BBB-' from 'BBB' on January 9.

    MOSCOW/LONDON, January 13 (Sputnik) — Fitch Ratings said Tuesday it had taken rating actions on 13 major Russian companies, following its recent downgrade of the Russian sovereign rating.

    "The rating actions reflect Fitch's view that these entities' ratings are now constrained by the sovereign Rating and Outlook, and have been revised to reflect this. This rating view is consistent with the lowering of the Russian Country Ceiling to 'BBB-'," the agency said in a statement.

    In particular, Fitch has downgraded Long-term local currency and Long-term foreign currency IDRs of Gazprom, LUKOIL, and Russian Railways to 'BBB-' from 'BBB' with negative outlook.

    On January 9, 2015, Fitch downgraded Russia's long-term foreign and local currency IDRs to BBB-, citing "sharp falls in the oil price and the ruble, coupled with a steep rise in interest rates." The company also set a negative outlook on Russian sovereign debt.

    BBB ratings stand for acceptable risk and adequate capacity for payment, according to the agency's definition.

    Another major rating agency, Standard & Poor's, is expected to downgrade Russia's credit rating in the coming days.

    Russia's economy is currently suffering from the sharp decline in global oil prices, given that the country's budget is largely dependent on energy exports. The fall in prices was triggered by the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) not to cut oil production. The Russian ruble has plummeted to historic lows recently.

    Fitch Group, Standard & Poor's and Moody's form the so-called Big Three credit rating agencies.


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