BRIEF-Fitch revises outlook on Iraq to stable affirms at ‘B-‘


March 13 (Reuters) –

* Fitch revises outlook on Iraq to stable; affirms at ‘B-‘

* Fitch – Iraq’s fiscal position has improved relative to 2015 and 1H16 because of higher than expected oil prices and reduced government spending

* Fitch on Iraq – in 2017 we forecast that deficit will narrow further, to 5.1% of GDP, with higher average oil prices driving strong revenue growth

* Fitch – estimate that Iraq’s budget deficit narrowed to IQD16.5trn or 8.1% of GDP in 2016, from 12.3% of GDP in 2015

* Fitch on Iraq – on spending side, we forecast 12.1% growth in expenditure after three years of substantial spending decline

* Fitch – political risk and insecurity in Iraq are among highest faced by any sovereign rated by Fitch

* Fitch on Iraq – “banking sector is under-developed and fundamentally weak”

* Fitch on Iraq – we “expect production and exports to plateau in 2017 given similar amounts budgeted by government for ioc payments this year” Source text for Eikon:



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