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Moody's: Russian economy resilient to U.S. sanctions

Staff Writer |
Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said that Russia’s strong public and external finances would shield its economy from the impact of the latest U.S. sanctions.

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However, according to the agency, the sanctions will be credit negative for some Russian debt issuers, especially Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal.

The rating agency also said that the Russian banking system has enough earnings capacity for absorbing credit losses arising from exposures to sanctioned companies.

Moody’s assessment is in contrast to that of Fitch Ratings, which said last week the U.S. sanctions would limit Russia’s potential economic growth and severely impact targeted companies.

“Russia’s sovereign credit profile — its rating is Ba1 with a positive outlook — is well positioned to withstand the impact of new sanctions,” Moody’s Senior Vice President and co-author of the report Kristin Lindow said.

“Higher oil prices will help the government to make further progress in rebuilding its fiscal savings," Reuters cited him as saying.

Moody’s noted that the risk to Russia’s credit profile comes from the possibility of Russian entities being cut off from the international capital market for some time.

Moody’s expects the Russian government to increase support to regions facing a fall in revenues due to the sanctions.

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