WASHINGTON: The ratings agency Fitch on Friday upgraded Ukraine’s sovereign debt to “B” from “B-,” pointing to the country’s increasing political and economic stability as well as falling debt levels.
While the debt remains in highly speculative status, the outlook for Kiev is also “positive,” the agency said, noting that President Volodymyr Zelensky enjoyed a strong political mandate to pursue a reform agenda.
New Ukraine Prime Minister Oleksiy Goncharuk also intends to seek additional assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which could help make debt payments in the coming years, according to Fitch.
After a popular uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed regime in 2014, the new Ukrainian government secured a $17.5 billion deal led by the IMF to buttress the struggling economy. But disbursement of the IMF funds had been frequently delayed under the government of former President Petro Poroshenko, which struggled to push through reforms required by the IMF.
Ukraine’s economy should grow 3.4% this year, driven by strong domestic demand and wheat exports, the agency added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2019.