Oman Gets Third Junk Rating as Gulf State Struggles With Reforms

(Bloomberg) -- Moody’s Investors Service cut Oman’s rating to junk amid skepticism the nation’s weakening fiscal metrics won’t improve anytime soon.

The rating company lowered the country by one notch to Ba1, one level below investment grade, with a negative outlook. Moody’s forecasts Oman’s fiscal deficit will remain high, ranging from 7 percent to 11 percent of gross domestic product in the next three years.

The downgrade reflects Moody’s view “that prospects for new meaningful fiscal reforms are limited, to a greater extent than the rating agency had previously assessed,” according to a statement. “This view is underscored by delays of measures that were announced in early 2018 and that Moody’s expected would be implemented during 2018-19.”

Moody’s is the last of the three major ratings agencies to grade Oman to non-investment grade. S&P Global Ratings has Oman at BB, two levels below investment grade, and Fitch Ratings has it at one level below investment grade.

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