August 6, 2019 / 11:17 AM / 18 days ago

New U.S. sanctions have no impact on Russia rating: S&P Global

LONDON (Reuters) - New U.S. sanctions on Russian U.S. dollar-denominated sovereign debt will have no immediate impact on Russia’s investment grade credit rating, agency S&P Global said on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Friday over the poisoning last year of a former Russian spy in Britain.

“The stable outlook on our sovereign ratings on Russia rests on our assumption that additional sanctions—above and beyond those already in place—would target the primary sovereign debt market, selected corporates, or non-systemic financial institutions,” S&P said.

“Even the outright ban on all primary sovereign borrowings could, in our view, be manageable given Russia’s strong government balance sheet, twin surpluses... and limited government borrowing requirements.”

Primary market borrowing refers to new debt that Russia issues as opposed to the ‘secondary’ market where existing debt is bought and sold. S&P rates Russia’s foreign currency debt at BBB- with a ‘stable’ outlook.

Reporting by Tom Arnold; editing by Marc Jones

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