Azerbaijan’s risks are spiralling
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Azerbaijan’s risks are spiralling

Confidence in the oil producer is wavering as a bank crisis unfolds.

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Healing qualities: Azerbaijan’s economy is slowly finding its feet, in response
to higher oil prices since 2016

Risk experts are still downgrading Azerbaijan in response to disappointing economic indicators, highlighting the effects of depressed oil prices and a lack of clarity from the government concerning its policymaking.

As of mid-May, Azerbaijan’s risk score has fallen to 39.4 out of a possible 100 points in Euromoney’s country risk survey – a long-term slide that has seen the country lose almost nine points since 2010.

This has pushed Azerbaijan below Gabon and Guatemala to 87th in the global rankings of 186 countries, deeper into the fourth of five tiered groups synonymous with a B- to BB+ credit rating, and forcing open a bigger gap in risk-terms to Russia (ranking 70th) and Kazakhstan (72nd).

Azerbaijan is rated an equivalent Ba1/BB+ credit by Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, but all three agencies put their ratings on a negative watch last year.

Surely now is the time to act.

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Difficult times

The crisis at the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA), the nation’s largest lender, underlines the cracks caused by the oil price decline.

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