International credit rating agency upgrades Azerbaijan to Investment Grade

The international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has announced that they have upgraded Azerbaijan's sovereign credit ratings. 

Fitch have upgraded Azerbaijan's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'. The credit rating agency adds that the outlooks on both ratings are stable. Fitch has also upgraded Azerbaijan's Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+' and upgraded its short-term foreign currency IDR to 'F3' from 'B'.

In a press release from Fitch, the international credit rating agency states: 

"Fitch believes the fiscal rule that limits the annual expenditure of oil revenues to a level consistent with the "permanent income" from the oil endowment is appropriate. The agency also draws comfort from the transparency of the SOFAZ [the State Oil Fund that leads on EITI], underlined by Azerbaijan being the first country to be fully compliant with the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative."

Azerbaijan became EITI Compliant in 2009, and has disclosed revenues in EITI reports for every year since 2003. In a comment to the announcement, Ingilab Ahmadov, Director of Azerbaijan Public Finance Monitoring Center and Member of the international EITI Board, said: "We are inspired that thanks to EITI activity and SOFAZ good governance achievements the rating was upgraded, but the business environment in the country has still a long way to go."

Read more about the upgrade of Azerbaijan's sovereign ratings on the Nasdaq website.