February 20, 2015 / 11:10 PM / in 3 years

Russian Finance Minister says Moody's downgrade had 'political character'

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moody’s downgrade of Russia’s sovereign rating was based on “factors of a political character,” Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said early on Saturday following news that Moody’s had cut the rating to below investment grade.

Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov attends the Gaidar Forum 2015 "Russia and the World: New Dimensions" in Moscow, January 14, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Siluanov also said that the downgrade was based on “unrealistic” forecasts with “no analogies”, as the agency had made pessimistic assumptions that went well beyond forecasts by the IMF, World Bank and international banks.

He said the downgrade would not have a serious additional impact on the capital market as Russia’s local currency rating from two other agencies remains at the investment grade level of BBB-. Local treasury bonds are currently seen by Russia as the only source of borrowing, Siluanov said.

(Makes clear in third paragraph that BBB- investment grade rating for local debt is from two other agencies)

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Jason Bush; Editing by Chris Reese

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