Majors Downgraded, Gulf Sovereigns To Follow?

Key ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded a string of the largest international oil firms over the past six weeks. Gulf sovereigns remain on review on a downgrade: they may see lending costs rise just as they seek to raise funds.

Ratings agency Moody’s earlier this month completed a review of the credit rating it ascribes to the world’s largest publicly-quoted oil companies. Shell, Chevron and Eni were all downgraded by one notch, and Total by two (see box, p17).

All eyes now turn to the agency’s ongoing review of the sovereign credit ratings of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and a dozen other oil-dependent economies. This review was launched 4 March for completion “within two months,” implying an imminent announcement (MEES, 11 March). Moody’s had already downgraded the two remaining GCC countries, Oman and Bahrain, by two notches a piece (see table). (CONTINUED - 816 WORDS)


table Moody'S GCC Long-Term Sovereign Credit Ratings