Budapest, November 21 (MTI) – Credit rating agencies may decide to upgrade Hungary’s sovereign rating next year, Agnes Hornung, a state secretary at the Economy Ministry, said on public television on Saturday.
Fitch Ratings affirmed Hungary’s “BB plus” sovereign credit rating, one notch under investment grade, with a “positive” outlook, in a scheduled review late Friday.
Hornung said on news channel M1 that countries with a “positive” outlook generally see a rating upgrade within twelve months, thus an upgrade for Hungary could come next year.
Fitch raised the outlook on Hungary’s rating to “positive” from “stable” in May of this year.
Hornung added that Fitch had said Hungary, along with Portugal, were the two countries closest to upgrades.
ING’s chief analyst Andras Balatoni told MTI on Saturday that the big rating agencies were being too conservative and too pessimistic — especially in the case of Hungary — unlike before the crisis, when they were overly optimistic. Fitch said an upgrade hinges on more stable, predictable economic policy, maintaining the external balance and a further decline in public debt, all areas in which progress is being made, Balatoni said, adding that an upgrade could come early in 2016.
Takarebank analyst Gergely Suppan said Fitch’s decision not to upgrade Hungary’s sovereign rating on Friday was “a bit disappointing”, but added that rating could be bumped up in the first half of next year, especially considering the outlook is “positive”.