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S&P upgrades Qatar’s credit rating on shrinking debt burden

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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 natural gas and has benefited from huge windfalls from soaring global oil and gas prices.

S&P said the Qatar government’s revenue stream will substantially increase through 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”.

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