NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday upgraded the credit ratings of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to reflect the impact of higher oil prices on their public and external finances.
“The marked improvement in the economic fundamentals of the Gulf countries has mainly been caused by the sustained rise in global hydrocarbon prices over the past five years,” Moody’s analyst Tristan Cooper wrote in a statement.
“However, we have also been encouraged by the relatively prudent use of oil export receipts compared with previous oil booms,” he added.
Bahrain was upgraded to “A2” from “A3,” Kuwait was raised to “Aa2” from “Aa3,” Oman went to “A2” from “A3,” Qatar received an “Aa2” rating from “Aa3,” and Saudi Arabia was upgraded to “A1” from “A2.”
The outlook on Saudi Arabia is positive, while the other four countries have a stable outlook.