Over the past 12 months, there has been an uptick in number of countries being upgraded, and a decline in sovereign downgrades, according to Randolph. Looking at IHS's own ratings, as well as those from the three major ratings agencies—Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service—he found that 100 countries had been upgraded over the last year, while only 68 had been downgraded. In comparison, over the previous 12-months, there were 92 upgrades and 114 downgrades.
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The rebound in the global economy may be slowing, however, and Russia and neigboring ex-Soviet states are likely to be hit, according to IHS.
"The ratings outlook continues to darken for Russia and those CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries closely linked economically," said Randolph.
As a major oil and gas exporter, Randolph said Russia was in "double trouble" because of the continued decline in Brent crude oil prices and the impact from Western-imposed economic sanctions.
His concern was echoed by the International Monetary Fund on Thursday. Spokesman Bill Murray warned that Russian economic growth was likely to fall further due to the impact of falling oil prices, according to Reuters. It came after data published Thursday revealed that Russia's economic growth slowed in the third quarter to 0.7 percent year-on-year, down from 0.8 percent in the second quarter.
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