Finance: Standard & Poor’s affirms Ukraine’s B-/B ratings with stable outlook

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has affirmed its ‘B-/B’ long-term and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Ukraine with a stable outlook, local media reported Monday, citing the agency’s report.

In its report, S&P Global Ratings said that its outlook reflects the expectation that Ukraine will continue cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the stand-by arrangement (SBA) and will retain access to both domestic and international capital markets.

The rating agency noted that in 2019 Ukraine faces sizable external debt repayments against the backdrop of presidential and parliamentary elections.

At the same time, S&P Global Ratings said it could consider a positive rating action if Ukraine demonstrates improvements in growth, reduces fiscal and external imbalances, and the situation in the non-government-controlled areas in the East of the country normalizes.

The Ukrainian government projected that the country’s gross domestic product will increase by 3 percent this year.

The IMF approved the SBA of 2.8 billion in Special Drawing Rights, which is equivalent to about 4 billion U.S. dollars, for Ukraine in December last year. The East European country has already received the first tranche of some 1.4 billion dollars from the program.

Ukraine targets to get 2.6 billion dollars in two tranches from the IMF by the end of 2019.