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Source: Reuters; Fitch Revises Türkiye's Outlook to Stable on Political Risks; May 10th, 2007


Credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the outlook for Turkish debt instruments on Thursday due to "heightened political risks."


Fitch marked down the outlook for Türkiye's foreign and local currency debt to "stable" from "positive." The ratings were affirmed at 'BB-', three notches below investment grade and comparable to the 'BB-' rating of Standard& Poor's and 'Ba3' rating of Moody's Investors Service, reported Reuters.


However, the agency held the so-called issuer default ratings for these instruments at BB-, held the short-term currency rating at "B" and the country ceiling at "BB", said Agence France- Presse.


Türkiye has been the scene in recent days of massive street demonstrations to defend the secular nature of Turkish government. The presidential elections had "sparked an escalation of political risk," said Edward Parker, the head of emerging markets in Europe for Fitch in its view, adding, "the military's threat to intervene" and a subsequent constitutional court judgment had prevented Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which has Islamist roots, from being elected president by parliament.


Two other agencies, Moody's and Standard and Poor's, said recent political turbulence in Türkiye was unlikely to alter their credit ratings for the country.


Credit ratings are important because they can affect the price governments must pay for borrowing money on world markets, and more generally they are seen as indicators of confidence in the economic outlook.


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