World Bank expert links Russia's upgraded credit rating to wise debt management

The upgrading of Russia's sovereign credit rating was the result of the wise debt policy of the Russian government, Chief Economist of the World Bank's Moscow branch Christoph Ruel noted in an interview with RBC today. He commented on the decision of the S&P rating agency to raise Russia's long-term sovereign credit rating to BB+ and BB in the local and foreign currency respectively and stressed this was "good news" awaited by the majority of economists. He noted that this upgrade testified to the developed of the debt market in Russia.

The World Bank's economist believes this upgrade will promote a rise in investments in Russia and simplify credit allocations to Russian companies abroad. However, Ruel found it difficult to forecast when Russia could face the next upgrade in its rating by S&P but stated Russia would have no problems with foreign debt payments next year taking into account the volume of the Russian Central Bank's currency reserves.

According to the official, the World Bank's estimates of the GDP growth and inflation in Russia in 2002 practically coincide with those of the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry. These parameters are expected to reach 4 and 14-14.5 percent respectively.

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