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Fitch upgrades Austria’s rating outlook to “stable”

Fitch upgrades Austria’s rating outlook to “stable”

the Rating agency Fitch He has a rating forecast for Austria It was raised from “Negative” to “Stable” – so there are no signs of a rating change in the near future. Austria’s credit rating for long-term foreign currency bonds will remain unchanged 2nd best possible value “AA+” Certain.

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The reason for the improved outlook is that risks related to energy supplies have decreased.

How does Fitch discuss the rating outlook for Austria?

Austria is one of the few EU countries that still buys in large quantities Russian gas pipelineWhich accounted for nearly 60 percent of the monthly imports in the first half of the year.

Although these deliveries may fail if the contract of carriage is between Ukraine And Gazprom It won’t be extended beyond 2024, but such a situation should be manageable given that Austria has guaranteed access to non-Russian gas, which is said to be the reason for the improved outlook.

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Fitch also notes that gas storage facilities in Austria, including the government’s strategic reserves, are 92 percent full.

The largest public utility company in Austria OMVIt has also taken important steps to diversify its gas resources in the medium and long term. OMV has booked additional pipeline capacity through 2026 and again through 2028 for 45 percent and 22 percent of annual consumption, respectively.

This is an element of uncertainty for Fitch Ratings

In July, OMV announced a domestic gas discovery that could increase low annual domestic production by 50 percent from 2024. It also signed a 10-year LNG agreement with BP that will supply 16.5 percent of annual consumption from 2020. 2026. In the long term, major investments in Romania can bring additional supplies of gas.

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As an uncertainty factor, in the long run Take or pay contract. between OMV and Gazprom, which runs until 2040. However, Fitch experts now consider that domestic or international political pressure is unlikely to lead to an early termination of the contract.

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Fitch assumes that Austria – budget deficit and from 3.2 percent in 2022 to 3.0 percent this year and to 1.5 percent in 2024. Public debt is expected to decline to 76.6 percent of GDP by the end of 2023 and then to 73.4 percent in 2025, according to the assessment.