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Moody's Downbeat on Moscow and St. Petersburg

Published: July 2, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • The two cities' overall negative outlook directly reflects the state of Russia's sovereign bond rating, which Moody's set at Baa1 with a negative outlook on Friday.
    Photo: Sergei Porter / Vedomosti

International credit ratings agency Moody's has struck Moscow and St. Petersburg with negative outlooks, saying that Russia's own poor ratings prospects have spread to its metropolitan centers.

Moody's simultaneously confirmed the two cities' foreign and local currency issuer ratings and senior unsecured ratings at Baa1.

The two cities' overall negative outlook directly reflects the state of Russia's sovereign bond rating, which Moody's set at Baa1 with a negative outlook on Friday, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

The cities' ratings nonetheless take into account "a moderate probability of extraordinary support coming from the federal government if the cities were to face acute liquidity stress," the statement said.

While Russia's two largest cities saw their outlooks turn negative, Moody's announced 14 other regions stable, an indication of their ability to "withstand moderate systemic pressure," the statement said.

The regions will be able to manage short-term refinancing risks thanks to assistance from the national government and ongoing lending from state-owned banks, Moody's said.

The ratings for the Krasnodar, Belgorod and Volgograd regions, meanwhile, were affirmed with negative outlooks, based on expected deterioration of their key financial and debt metrics.

With its announcement Friday, Moody's became the last of the world's three main rating companies to assign a negative outlook to Russia's sovereign bond rating.

The agency cited Russia's increased susceptibility to geo-political risk caused by the escalation of the Ukraine crisis and weak mid-term economic growth outlook as bases for the decision.

However, the agency did not decide to lower Russia's rating, saying that the current level of geo-political tensions over Ukraine will not be enough to further suppress the country's economic growth.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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