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Ratings and Rankings for Russia

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Last updated: September 27, 2017

About Moody’s

Rating Scale of Moody’s

Moody’s Sovereign Ratings for Russia

Moody’s Retrospective Ratings for Russia

About Moody’s

Moody’s group represents one of the leading credit rating agencies in the world with head office in New York City. It comprises Moody's Investors Service Inc., Moody’s Analytics Inc. and their affiliates. Together with other credit ratings, Moody’s elaborates and releases its sovereign credit ratings on government bonds accompanied by country credit ratings ceilings and outlooks.

Moody’s web-site:

Moody’s offers the following key indicators for the sovereign risk assessment:

Important note: On March 9, 2016 Moody’s withdrew the national scale ratings for Russia (approx. 150 national scale ratings) assigned by its joint venture with local Interfax news agency (Moody's Interfax Rating Agency, MIRA). This decision resulted from changing regulations on operations of international rating agencies in Russia making their ratings ineligible for regulatory purposes starting from July 14, 2017. Moody’s was the first rating agency belonging to the Top 3 (together with S&P and Fitch) to withdraw the national-scale ratings in Russia. The sovereign ratings for Russia and Moody’s global scale ratings (approx. 250 issuers in CIS) remained in place. Press-release of Moody’s: Original (Eng).

Rating Scale of Moody’s

Long-Term Sovereign Rating Scale

AaaHighest quality of obligationsInvestmentLowest level of credit risk.
AaHigh quality of obligationsInvestmentVery low credit risk.
AUpper-medium grade of obligationsInvestmentLow credit risk.
BaaMedium grade of obligationsInvestmentModerate credit risk, certain speculative characteristics of obligations.
BaSpeculative gradeSpeculativeSubstantial credit risk.
BSpeculative gradeSpeculativeHigh credit risk.
CaaSpeculative of poor standingSpeculativeVery high credit risk.
CaHighly speculativeSpeculativeObligations are likely to be in or very near default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
CLowest ratedSpeculativeObligations are typically in default with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

In most cases modifiers (1, 2 or 3) may be appended to a rating in order to indicate relative status within major rating categories: “1” stands for the higher end of category (best grade in category), “2” stands for the medium end, and “3” stands for the lower end. Example: Baa1 means the best grade within Baa category.

Short-Term Sovereign Rating Scale

P-1Prime-1Superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-2Prime-2Strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-3Prime-3Acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NPNot PrimeIssuer does not fall into any of categories above.

Additional information on the Moody’s rating scale can be found at: (registration required).

Rating Methodology

The sovereign bonds rating methodology relies upon analysis of the following factors:

The additional information on Moody’s ratings methodology can be found at: (registration required).

Moody’s Sovereign Ratings for Russia

Moody’s initially assigned sovereign rating to Russian debt in October 1996.

The assigned ratings, ceilings and outlooks were revisited many times both before and after August 1998 crisis, when the Russian state defaulted.

Over 1999-2008 the long-term government bonds rating for Russia was gradually improving in line with Russian economic strength reaching Baa1 investment grade in July, 2008.

In the course of 2008-2009 crisis the rating was not revisited primarily due availability of substantial reserves for the Russian debt coverage.

After the beginning of events in Ukraine in March 2014 the long-term government bonds rating was put for downgrade review, and in October 2014 it was lowered to Baa2.

Afterwards, it was further lowered to Baa3 (January 2015) and Ba1 (February 2015) reflecting deterioration of the Russian economy’s status and prospects accompanied by increasing political tensions.

The last rating action on Russia was made by Moody’s on December 3, 2015, when the outlook for Ba1 long-term government bonds rating was changed from negative to stable.

Thus, at present the Moody’s sovereign rating for Russia is one category below the investment grade.

On March 4, 2016 Moody’s placed the Russian sovereign rating on review for downgrade to Ba2[24], which may be implemented within the following two months with high level of probability together with reassessment of the country ceilings.

On April 22, 2016 Moody’s confirmed the sovereign rating of Russian government bonds at Ba1 with negative outlook assigned.[25]

On February 17, 2017 the outlook for government bonds’ rating (Ba1) was changed from negative to stable.[26]

Recent changes in relation to Moody’s sovereign ratings for Russia can be traced at:

Moody’s Retrospective Ratings for Russia

History of Moody’s Sovereign Ratings for Russia in 1996-2016

DateRating actionForeign Currency CeilingsGovernment BondsOutlook
Bonds & NotesBank DepositsForeign currencyLocal currency
October 7, 1996Rating assignedBa2NPBa3NP---
November 22, 1996Rating assigned----Ba2--
March 7, 1997Outlook assigned------stable
January 15, 1998Outlook changed------negative
February 3, 1998Review for downgrade----Ba2-RUR-
March 11, 1998Rating loweredBa3-B1-Ba3-stable
May 29, 1998Rating loweredB1-B2-B1-negative
May 29, 1998Rating assigned-----B2-
August 13, 1998Rating loweredB2-Caa1-B2Caa1negative
August 21, 1998Rating loweredB3-Caa3-B3Canegative
September 14, 1998Rating lowered--Ca----
September 17, 1999Rating raised--Caa1----
January 5, 2000Rating raised-----Caa2stable
April 10, 2000Outlook changed------positive
August 23, 2000Review for upgradeB3-Caa1-B3Caa2RUR+
November 13, 2000Rating raisedB2-B3-B2B3stable
September 5, 2001Outlook changed----B2B3positive
October 11, 2001Rating raised-----B1-
November 29, 2001Rating raisedBa3-B1-Ba3Ba2stable
April 14, 2002Outlook changed------positive
October 17, 2002Review for upgradeBa3-B1-Ba3-RUR+
December 17, 2002Rating raisedBa2-Ba3-Ba2-stable
July 28, 2003Review for upgrade----Ba2Ba2RUR+
October 8, 2003Rating raisedBaa3-Ba1-Baa3Baa3stable
October 30, 2003Rating confirmed-NP-NPBaa3Baa3stable
October 6, 2004Outlook changed------positive
September 8, 2005Review for upgrade-NPBa1NPBaa3Baa3RUR+
October 25, 2005Rating raisedBaa2Prime-2Baa2Prime-2Baa2Baa2Stable
May 24, 2006Rating raisedA2Prime-1-----
March 27, 2008Review for upgrade--Baa2-Baa2Baa2RUR+
July 16, 2008Rating raised--Baa1-Baa1Baa1-
July 16, 2008Outlook changed----Baa1Baa1positive
December 12, 2008Outlook changed----Baa1Baa1stable
March 27, 2013Rating confirmedA2-Baa1-Baa1Baa1stable
March 28, 2014Review for downgrade----Baa1Baa1RUR-
June 27, 2014Outlook changed----Baa1Baa1negative
October 17, 2014Rating loweredA3Prime-2Baa2-Baa2Baa2negative
December 22, 2014Ceilings lowered (no rating action)Baa2-Ba1NP---
January 16, 2015Rating loweredBaa3Prime-3--Baa3Baa3RUR-
February 20, 2015Rating loweredBa1NPBa2NPBa1Ba1negative
December 3, 2015Outlook changed----Ba1Ba1stable
March 4, 2016Review for downgrade----Ba1Ba1RUR-
April 22, 2016Outlook changed----Ba1Ba1negative
February 17, 2017Outlook changed----Ba1Ba1stable

Sources: Economics and Business department of the Roeters Island Library of the University of Amsterdam (1996-2008)[27]; Moody’s press releases: March 27, 2013[28], March 28, 2014[29], June 27, 2014[30], October 17, 2014[31], December 22, 2014[32], January 16, 2015[33], February 20, 2015[34], December 3, 2015[35], March 4, 2016[36], April 22, 2016[37], February 17, 2017[38].

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