Fitch upgrades Iran outlook

12 December 2003
London-based ratings agency Fitchhas upgraded the outlook on Iran's long-term foreign currency and local currency ratings of B+ to positive from stable.

The short-term rating of B has been affirmed. 'The change in outlook is based on expectations of continued GDP [gross domestic product] growth of between 6-7 per cent led by the non-oil sector, as well as ongoing current account surpluses and further foreign exchange reserve accumulation,' Fitch said in a 9 December statement. 'Even with a forecast modest decline in oil prices in 2004 and 2005, [we expect] Iran's external liquidity position to strengthen. By the end of the fiscal year in March 2004, foreign exchange reserves are projected to reach $25,000 million.'

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