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Russia gets moved up to investment-grade status

Russia has been upgraded by three major rating agencies to investment-grade status just six years after defaulting on its debt.

It has been moved by Standard & Poor’s from a BBBto BB+ rating, the first notch on the investment-grade scale, following upgrades by Moody’s and Fitch.

High oil prices have helped the Russian government reduce its debt to the point where the country was a net creditor at the end of last year.

Recent decisions by Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers to incorporate Fitch ratings into their index methodologies have also helped elevate the status of Russian bonds in international markets.

Fidelity fund manager Paul Lavelle says: “Opportunities for selective investments are frequent. These are treacherous waters, though, as the heightened political risks in Russia and the Ukranian revolution vividly demonstrate. Creating value through emerging market exposure will require good stockpicking skills.”

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