Russia among oil producing countries at risk because of low prices
The credit ratings of more than 10 oil producing nations in the developing world were placed on review for a downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited the shock of depressed oil prices on these economies.They are burning through their reserves and they are in some cases increasing their military spending on wars outside their country such as Russia's expedition in Syria. The only major oil producer outside the US that is doing well is Norway. It retained its AAA rating. Mexico's oil company continues to lose billions.
The list includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and Trinidad and Tobago, according to statements released by Moody’s on Friday in New York.
Five of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar — were also put on review for a cut, Moody’s said, adding that it expects to complete its review within two months.
The ratings of Bahrain and Congo were downgraded in addition to being placed on review, while the credit outlook for Venezuela was lowered to negative from stable.
The moves follow Standard & Poor’s, which has already issued a spate of downgrades in reflection of the selloff in oil and its impact on the creditworthiness of producers in emerging markets.
The collapse in commodity prices has forced governments to trim the spending that has helped fuel their economic growth over the past decade. Fiscal deficits are on the rise as these countries increase borrowing to make up for the shortfall in revenue.