(Reuters) – Ratings agency S&P on Friday raised Qatar’s long-term sovereign credit rating to “AA” from “AA-“, citing improvements in the government’s fiscal position.
“Qatar’s debt interest costs as a share of government revenue have fallen, and we expect them to remain low because the government is repaying maturing debt,” the agency said in a statement.
High energy prices have so far translated into a budget surplus of 47.3 billion Qatari Riyals, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said last month.
S&P believes that higher oil prices should result in strong government surpluses in 2022-2023.
Qatar, which hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup this month, is one of the world’s largest exporters of and has benefited from huge windfalls from soaring global oil and gas prices.
S&P said Qatar government’s revenue stream will substantially increase by the North Field Expansion, which is part of the world’s biggest gas field that Qatar shares with Iran.
S&P maintained its outlook for Qatar at “stable”.