Local Authorities in CEE See Strong Economic Growth, Report
The creditworthiness of local and regional governments (LRGs) located in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries improved in 2004 on the back of strong economic and revenue growth, and improved management, said a report released today by Standard & Poor’s. Intergovernmental reforms and pressing infrastructure needs, however, will continue to influence the credit standing of these LRGs. Standard & Poor’s rates 39 LRGs in 11 CEE countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. “Positive ratings actions dominated the scene for rated CEE LRGs in 2004,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Elena Okorotchenko. Nine of the 39 LRG ratings were raised in 2004, while none of the ratings was lowered. “Going forward, CEE LRGs will continue to benefit from growing economies and wealth levels, increasing investments, enhanced management sophistication, and improving debt structure,” said Okorotchenko.