KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan 'BBB-/A-3' Ratings affirmed with stable outlook

On September 7 S&P Global Ratings affirmed long-term and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign ratings on Kazakhstan at 'BBB-/A-3' with a stable outlook. The agency also affirmed 'kzAAA' as a national scale rating for Kazakhstan.

The rating action and stable outlook are supported by the government's strong balance sheet, built on past budgetary surpluses during a period of high commodity prices, Kazakhstan's external liquid assets, exceeding external debt, and the fall of inflation from double-digit rates in 2016 to within the NBK's 5-7% annual target range in 2018. On the other hand, the ratings remain constrained by low predictability of future policy responses, given the highly centralized political environment, Kazakhstan's moderate economic wealth, remaining challenges to monetary policy credibility, and excess local currency liquidity amid weak bank lending growth.

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