Serbia wins credit rating, restores place on European investment map

Predrag Kovacevic, a special advisor to the Serbian Minister of Finance, said that Serbia’s first-ever credit rating, which the country won from international rating agency Standard & Poor’s, has opened the way for the country’s return to the European investment map.

Recalling that Standard & Poor’s gave Serbia a B+ long-term credit rating and a B short-term rating on Monday, Kovacevic said that the credit rating will help Serbia and its banks access the global capital market.

According to him, the country’s credit rating will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The credit rating will allow Serbian banks to borrow money at lower interest rates, Kovacevic went on to say, adding that banks, in turn, are expected to reduce interest rates for retail lending.

Nikola Djivanovic, a special advisor to the Serbian Minister of Finance, explained that a credit rating is an assessment of credit worthiness which lenders use to decide whether to approve a loan.

The proposed issue of restructured London Club debt has received the B+ credit rating as well, Djivanovic added, stressing that Serbia repaid the first, $40 million portion of its London Club debt, on Monday.

Serbia is the 106th country to receive a credit rating, he went on to say, adding that Montenegro and Albania have yet to secure credit ratings.

Noting that the credit rating was granted based on Serbia’s political risk, revenues, economic growth and debt, Djivanovic said that Standard & Poor’s analysts have warned that Serbia’s political risk remained high, „with the anti-reformist and extreme nationalist parties consistently winning more than one-third of the electorate’s vote“.