Canada has escaped a sweeping review by Moody’s Investors Services of the sovereign finances of nearly a dozen oil-producing nations, Bloomberg reports.
On the review list are Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar, as well as Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and Trinidad and Tobago. Bahrain, Venezuela, and Congo had their credit ratings lowered, in addition to being put under review.
“This sends a bearish signal to the markets, even though a plunge in oil prices is not news to anyone,” New York-based money manager Wayne Lin told Bloomberg. “As oil prices are plunging, revenue of these commodity exporters are greatly impaired, which creates a challenge to their ability to balance the budgets, run the country, and control and service the debt.”
Canada hasn’t entirely escaped Moody’s scrutiny in recent months. After a warning late last year, the rating agency downgraded the corporate debt of a number of Canadian oilpatch heavyweights, including Cenovus, Encana, Canadian Natural Resources, and Canadian Oil Sands—in the last case reducing its corporate debt rating to junk status.
Meanwhile the rating agency bestowed an AAA rating on Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, for its prudent management of its oil revenues.