S&P downgrades Azerbaijan debt outlook to negative

Cars drive on a street in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh’s main city of Stepanakert on October 2, 2020, during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region. — AFP pic
Cars drive on a street in the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh’s main city of Stepanakert on October 2, 2020, during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region. — AFP pic

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 — S&P Global Ratings downgraded the outlook on Azerbaijan’s debt to negative, even while holding the credit rating stable at BB+ amid the rising risks from the conflicted ignited in September with neighbouring Armenia.

“The military confrontation could exacerbate Azerbaijan’s economic, external, and fiscal vulnerabilities at a time when the economy has been weakened by Covid-19 and the collapse in oil prices,” S&P said in a statement.

The conflict will weigh on the nation’s economy and finances as it “may take quite some time to resolve.”

Hundreds have already been killed in the latest flare-up of fighting over Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan long controlled by ethnic Armenian separatists.

Efforts by world governments to broker a peace have so far failed. — AFP

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