Rating raised one level to BB, 2nd-highest speculative grade
Fitch forecasts GDP growth of 6.7% in 2018, driven by FDI
Vietnam won a sovereign rating upgrade from Fitch Ratings on rising foreign-exchange reserves and strong economic growth, putting the nation closer to investment grade. Bonds and stocks rose.
The rating on the nation’s long-term, foreign currency-denominated debt was raised one level to BB, with a stable outlook, Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. The upgrade puts Vietnam at the second-highest speculative grade and on par with Costa Rica.
Vietnam’s communist government has transformed the nation into one of the most rapidly-growing economies in the world with Fitch forecasting expansion of 6.7 percent in 2018. The government is focusing on containing debt and reforming its state-owned enterprises, boosting its track record of policy making at a time when emerging markets face pressure from rising U.S. interest rates.
The yield on Vietnam’s 4.8 percent dollar notes due November 2024 fell five basis points to 4.63 percent on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those of similar-maturity debt from the Philippines was at 3.65 percent. Fitch rates the Philippines at BBB, three levels above Vietnam.
The benchmark VN Index of shares rose 0.8 percent, while the currency was little changed.
— With assistance by Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen, and Lilian Karunungan
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Economy News Baghdad:
Dana Gas has announced that it has received a cash payment of US $ 22.75 million, equivalent to AED 83.5 million, from Pearl Petroleum Limited in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq after the end of the first quarter of 2018 .
“The total cash payments that the company has received since the beginning of the year from Pearl Co. Ltd. in the Kurdistan region of Iraq amount to $ 36.7 million,” it said in a press release.
Under the sponsorship of the Central Bank of Iraq, Branch of Basra, Government and Private Banks in Basra held the financial inclusion fair in Basra’s Time Square mall for two days to highlight the importance and principles of financial inclusion in Iraq. The fair included opening accounts to citizens and introducing all banking services provided by banks as well as ways to use ATM and ATM Electronic payment.
Date Added 05/14/2018
Economy News _ Baghdad
Al-Rafidain Bank announced on Monday that it will continue to issue an international payment tool for employees, citizens and other segments of society.
Prime Minister Dr. Haider Abadi congratulates the Muslims in Iraq and the world by the holy month of Ramadan.
The US Treasury Department on Wednesday decided to impose new sanctions on six individuals linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah.
“The sanctions include, in particular, the leader of the party, Hassan Nasrallah, his deputy Naim Kassem, Hussein al-Khalil, Muhammad Yazbek and Abrahem Amin al-Sayyid,” the ministry said in a statement.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iran, under pressure from the United States’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal, faces a major test in dealing with radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who beat its old allies to make a surprise victory in Iraq’s parliamentary elections.
But if Tehran overstates confidence in ousting Sadr from a coalition government dominated by its allies, it risks losing power by provoking a conflict between the Shi’ites, who are supported by Sadrists and the Sadrists.
Sadr stepped out of parliamentary elections in the lead by taking advantage of growing popular discontent directed at Iran and what some voters say is corruption among the political elite that failed to help the poor.
However, Iran is unlikely to relinquish its influence in Iraq, its most important ally in the Middle East, and will work to form a coalition that will preserve its interests.
“Iran will do everything in its power to maintain its strength in Iraq and exert pressure,” said independent Iraqi analyst Wathiq al-Hashemi. The situation is very sensitive. “
Before the election, Iran publicly said it would not allow the Sadr bloc, which represents a mixed alliance of Shi’ites, communists and other secular groups, to take power.
For his part, Sadr said he was not ready to reach a compromise with Iran to form a coalition with its main allies Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the armed Badr Organization and perhaps the strongest man in Iraq and former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
After announcing the election results, Sadr said he would only cooperate with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Kurds and Sunnis.
Iran has used the political climate in its favor in the past, especially in the wake of the US-led invasion and ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.
Allawi was held responsible for not taking power to Tehran, which Naort to push Maliki to the seat of power.
Critics said Maliki had followed a sectarian program that marginalized Sunnis and created conditions that enabled the organization of an Islamic state to control a third of the country’s territory.
Preventing al-Sadr may also pose serious risks. His election propaganda has resonated among millions of poor Iraqis, especially in his strongholds in Baghdad and the Shi’ite-dominated areas.
Sadr derives his legitimacy from his family, which has produced a group of leading Shiite scholars. He was known for leading two violent uprisings against US forces in the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2016, tens of thousands of his supporters rallied into the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.
MP Diaa al-Asadi, who headed the Sadr bloc in the last parliamentary session that the bloc will seek to conclude alliances to address any Iranian intervention in an attempt to form a government and ruled out the conclusion of agreements with Amiri or al-Maliki.
“We are not hiding our fear of some interference by internal or external forces and Iran is one of them,” he said.
He hoped that the political leaders had learned not to allow Iranian intervention to dictate the outcome of the elections.
Asadi said Sadr’s bloc would put pressure through legal and democratic channels rather than popular protests if Tehran tried to influence the formation of the government.
There is already a grudge between Sadr and Maliki, who was prime minister in 2008, cracking down on Sadr’s Mehdi Army in the southern city of Basra in a violent Shi’ite dispute that killed more than 200 people.
Sadr had withdrawn from Maliki’s government the previous year when the prime minister refused to set a date for the withdrawal of US troops.
Renad Mansour, a research fellow at Chatham House, said Iran would try to maintain its influence by working behind the scenes through allies such as Maliki and al-Amiri.
Iran may rely more on Amiri, who spent 20 years of his life in Iran opposed to Saddam and speaks Persian. Through his Badr organization he controls senior positions in the Interior Ministry and security forces.
Sadr is likely to try to soften the grip of Iran’s allies on the security services and other governing institutions and seek a key role in the government.
Sadr, who portrays himself as an Iraqi national, has long opposed foreign interference in the country, whether American invaders or agents working for Iran.
Former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari said it could be avoided if Sadr entered into an alliance with Iran-backed parties that would allow him a key role in the government, such as the interior ministry or foreign affairs portfolio.
But it seems unlikely, and it is not clear how Sadr will seek to exploit his election victory.
Despite Sadr’s unpredictable opposition to Iranian influence, he chose to live in Iran in his own free exile. Then he suddenly appeared in 2003 and formed an armed faction to fight the Americans.
He was described by a Western diplomat as a character “very difficult to detect.”
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