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Financial News: ARGENTINA: Moody's Upgrades Country's Rating To B2 From

ARGENTINA: Moody's Upgrades Country's Rating To B2 From B3

11/30/2017 - 13:12:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Credit risk agency Moody's Investors Service has upgraded Argentina's sovereign rating to B2 from B3 with a stable outlook, due to the macroeconomic reforms sponsored by Mauricio Macri's administration, and the likelihood that these reforms should sustain the South American country's economic growth.

"The stable outlook on Argentina's B2 ratings balances Argentina's credit strengths of its large, diverse economy and moderate income levels against the credit challenges posed by still high fiscal deficits and a reliance on external financing, which increases its vulnerability to external event risk," Moody's noted.

Since December 2015, Macri has been trying to implement several policies that face the economic distortions that had limited Argentina's credit profile, according to the rating agency. These reforms include a floating exchange rate, an open capital account, an independent central bank with multi-year inflation targets, and more reliable public statistics.

Moody's expects that Macri's reforms would likely keep going ahead, as the result of the mid-term legislative elections in October has strengthened the government's political position.

Recently, Macri has announced several bills for tax, pension, and labor reform. The government claims that these reforms aim at boosting economic recovery by encouraging greater private investment while continuing the process of macroeconomic stabilization. The authorities also intend to reduce the fiscal deficit after 2018 gradually.

"After years of stop-and-go economic growth, Argentina is poised to grow two years in a row in 2017-18, the first time since 2011. We expect the economy will grow 3% this year and 3.5% in 2018, after contracting 2.3% in 2016. The improvement is the result of a combination of factors, including increased business and consumer confidence and higher investment rates," Moody's said.

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