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25 July, 2024
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Cyprus braces for credit ratings in 2023

Rating agencies set milestones for Cyprus’ ratings in 2023, a year marked by a projected economic slowdown

Source: CNA

The four international rating agencies have published their potential rating dates for Cyprus’ credit rating in 2023.

The ratings will take place in a year marked by a projected economic slowdown, amid the continued uncertainty that clouds the economic outlook, due to high inflation and the energy crisis, fuelled by the continuing war in Ukraine. Furthermore, the outlook is affected by the policies of the Central Banks and their aggressive stance concerning interest rate hikes.

The ratings will take place in a year marked by a projected economic slowdown, amid continued uncertainty, high inflation, the energy crisis, and the ongoing war in Ukraine

Cyprus enters 2023 having its investment grade status consolidated as two rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s and DBRS Morningstar have placed the country's long-term credit rating two notches above the investment grade limit. Furthermore, Fitch maintains the Cypriot rating in investment grade while Moody’s continues to hold Cyprus’ rating in “junk” (Ba1) but has assigned a positive outlook. All other agencies have assigned a stable outlook to the Cypriot long-term rating.

The first ratings begin on March 3 2023 with S&Ps scheduled to issue its first rating action, while Fitch will follow on March 10 2023. Rating agencies Moody’s and DBRS are scheduled to issue their potential rating actions on March 31. The first batch of ratings coincide with the election of the new President of the Republic and the assumption of duties by the new government.

The second set of reviews is scheduled to begin with Fitch on June 15 and S&Ps on September 1 2023. Moody’s and DBRS Morningstar have scheduled their second rating actions for September 29.

Rating actions are believed to have more weight in 2023, as the low interest rate environment came to an end due to police rate hikes by major Central Bank across the world in a bid to control soaring inflation, while economic uncertainty and economic slow down have driven sovereign bond’s yields in a upward trajectory.

Moreover, apart from monetary policy normalisation, the European Central Bank embarked on “quantitative tightening,”, that is, ending net bond purchases under its asset purchase programme. Asset purchases and more particularly sovereign bonds, have begun in 2014, compressing borrowing costs for governments in the euro area.

Under EU Regulation 462/2013 (CRA3), rating agencies publish two dates for the potential release of both solicited and unsolicited sovereign credit rating actions. All rating publication dates are on a Friday.

Cyprus  |  economy  |  inflation  |  ratings  |  Ukraine  |  energy  |  banks

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