North Korea’s country risk score falls after leader’s death

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By:
Andrew Mortimer
Published on:

Experts lower one-party state’s country risk score after sudden death of Kim Jong-il

North Korea’s country risk score fell by 2.5 points on Monday as news broke of the death of its leader Kim Jong-il.

Economists lowered their scores in the government stability, government interference/non-repatriation of capital and bank stability categories as North Korea’s overall country risk score fell to just 7.9 out of 100.

North Korea remains one of the top 10 riskiest countries in the world, according to economists polled in Euromoney's Country Risk (ECR) ratings.

Allan Dwyer, professor of finance at Mount Royal University and a participant in ECR’s poll, says: 



“The suddenness of Kim’s unscheduled passing may prove to be enough of a shock that elements in favour of either increased openness, or those with a stake in criminal enterprise, may gain the upper hand. Either way, a watershed event has unfolded.”



North Korea’s country risk score sees it ranked 181st out of 186 countries in the ECR ratings, alongside fellow one-party states such as Laos, Eritrea and Mauritania. North Korea is ranked 153 places below neighbouring South Korea, which economists rate the 28th safest economy in the world.

ECR: North Korea's Country Risk Sore

Country name

Rank

Rank change

Score value

Burundi

174

6

12.4

Djibouti

175

1

11.8

Sao Tome & Principe

176

-3

11.8

Mauritania

177

-2

9.8

Antigua & Barbuda

178

0

9.4

Laos

179

-2

8.5

Equatorial Guinea

180

-1

8.0

Korea North

181

-7

7.9

Central African Republic

182

-1

7.6

Eritrea

183

0

5.1

Source: ECR (December 20)



Economists awarded North Korea a score of two out of 10 or less in the survey sections for monetary policy, bank stability, economic outlook, employment and government finances.

In the political section of the survey, North Korea’s reduced score for government stability leaves it with an overall political risk score of 10 out of a possible 100.

The country’s score in the information access/transparency section (one out of 10) is the lowest in the world.

North Korea scored zero in each of the survey’s three quantitative sections: credit rating; access to capital markets; and debt indicators.

North Korea has fallen by seven places in the ECR table since June, with declining scores in the economic outlook, bank stability, government finances and employment sections.

Click here to check out more analysis from Euromoney Country Risk