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Moody’s pushes Niger’s rating deeper into junk

February 10, 2024
Moody's pushes Niger's rating deeper into junk

On Friday, global ratings agency Moody's announced a further downgrade of 's sovereign rating, citing the accumulation of unpaid debts as the primary reason for the move.

Moody's downgraded the long-term foreign and local currency ratings of the Government of Niger to Caa3 from Caa2, pushing the country's credit rating deeper into junk territory.

According to data from the West African regional debt management agency, Niger missed payments on interest and capital totalling 187.136 billion CFA francs in November.

Moody's highlighted that the continued accumulation of debt service payment arrears, resulting from sanctions imposed by regional bodies after the military took over the West African nation, could lead to more significant losses for private sector creditors than previously anticipated.

Last month, the ruling juntas of Niger, , and announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (), a regional economic bloc that has been urging a return to democratic rule.

Moody's noted that Niger's withdrawal from ECOWAS has added uncertainty regarding the timeline for lifting the sanctions.

Despite the downgrade, Moody's changed the outlook for the West African country from “negative” to “stable” on the expectation of a likely boost in foreign exchange revenue throughout 2024.

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