S&P raises Kenya's credit rating

Nov 22, 2010

Standard & Poor's (S&P) has raised Kenya's sovereign credit rating, citing improvements in the country's economic position and a reduction in political risk.

The nation now carries a B+ rating with a stable outlook after being upgraded by one step, with the firm noting that it expects gross domestic product in Kenya to expand by 5.4 per cent in 2011. Ravi Bhatia, Analyst at S&P, explained the increase of Kenya's rating "reflects our view of the country's falling political risks in the wake of the adoption of a new constitution, as well as the country's improved economic outlook".

According to Bloomberg, the increase, which puts the nation four levels below investment grade, means it carries the same sovereign rating as countries such as Georgia, Paraguay and Ukraine. Data released by the World Bank last month showed 14 per cent of Kenyans receive $735 (€535) in remittances from relatives living overseas on a regular basis.

Michael Fuchs, Adviser to the bank, said more needs to be done to ensure money that comes from overseas can be used to "facilitate" services like mortgages and loans.