The American rating agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed the long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of Turkmenistan in foreign currency at the level of "B+" with a "Stable" outlook.
The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's forecast that energy prices and macroeconomic policy parameters will be in line with broadly balanced fiscal and external accounts, as well as expectations that policy direction will not change after the March elections, according to the agency's website.
Fitch also notes that the recovery in gas exports and prices is improving the current account position, and last year a large loan related to a Chinese gas purchase agreement was repaid on schedule. A current account surplus of 1% of GDP was posted in 9M 2021 thanks to higher hydrocarbon revenues. Fitch expects a further increase in their exports in 2022.
The agency also states that Turkmenistan's external balance is strong compared to comparable countries. Gross external debt stood at 8% of GDP at the end of 2021, almost entirely sovereign and mostly project related.
Low Public Debt: Fitch estimates general government debt has declined to 11.5% of GDP at end-2021 (LFL median of 68%) due to large external borrowing repayments.
Gas production boosts economic growth: A recovery in gas production, mainly due to a recovery in demand in key export markets, helped improve growth. According to national data, real GDP growth was 6.2% in 2021, compared to 5.9% in 2020.
Fitch Ratings has assigned Turkmenistan a Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'B+' with a Stable Outlook in August 2021.