Fitch: Romania's rating unlikely to improve in 2010

Publish date: 07-01-2010
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At the end of the past year, the finance minister Sebastian Vladescu was saying that Romania could register in 2010 an improvement of the sovereign rating if it observes the agreement with IMF and the European Union. But, Fitch rating agency pours cold water on the enthusiasm of the Romanian politicians. It is rather improbable that Fitch would improve the ratings for Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Ukraine in 2010, in the conditions in which these countries are further faced with major problems. Romania remains with the sovereign rating in the junk category in 2010.

The declaration was made by Fitch chief for Emerging Europe, Edward Parker, and quoted by Until an improvement of the sovereign rating, Romania and other countries from the region need to fulfill the fiscal targets for at least one year. In order to see an improvement of the rating, any of the five countries should fulfill their fiscal targets for over one year. In the case of Romania and Hungary, Fitch analyst believes that the countries need a multi-annual fiscal strengthening. Moreover, Edward Parker says, Romania also needs to settle other macroeconomic imbalances. Fitch was the second biggest rating agency which demoted Romania outside the category recommended for investments, at the end of 2008.

Revision of strategies in Eastern Europe for parent banks

The financial groups present on the emerging markets from Central and Eastern Europe could re-evaluate their strategies for this region further to the nationalization of Hypo Group Alpe Adria, but the important changes will come from the investors which do not have enough force to save their subsidiaries. "We consider that several participants in the market could change their strategic reasoning for the operations from ECE (Central and Eastern Europe - editor's note) in 2010.

While the major investors maintain their operations, operating only minor portfolio adjustments, those with smaller affairs could discuss their withdrawal from the region, in the context of the economic difficulties and the anticipated restrictions in the growth dynamics," declared Michael Steinbarth, manager Fitch Financial Institutions, in a press release of the rating agency, Mediafax informs. Moreover, the support granted so far to the banking groups by the West-European governments could reach the limit if the economic consequences of the global crisis require an appropriate fiscal answer in 2010 and in the following years, the rating agency anticipates.

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