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Financial News: S&P Cuts Qatar's Rating To 'AA-'

S&P Cuts Qatar's Rating To 'AA-'

06/08/2017 - 00:56:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Standard & Poor's downgraded the sovereign ratings of Qatar by one notch and placed the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications, as six Arab nations sever diplomatic ties and trade links with Qatar.

A group of states including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen moved to cut ties with Qatar on June 5.

The measures imposed by these governments exacerbate Qatar's external vulnerabilities and could put pressure on its economic growth and fiscal metrics, S&P observed.

Further, the negative CreditWatch encompasses numerous downside risks to the ratings as a consequence of recent events, the agency added.

S&P noted numerous uncertainties regarding Qatar's response, the extent to which measures will be imposed, and their longevity.

S&P is set to review these uncertainties and the potential impact on projections as further details emerge, on August 25.

The agency expects economic growth to slow, not just through reduced regional trade, but as corporate profitability is damaged because regional demand is cut off, investment is hampered, and investment confidence wanes.

Nonetheless, S&P noted that Qatar holds the third-largest proven natural gas reserves in the world and the agency does not expect potential outflow to pose immediate issues for Qatar's banks.

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