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S&P and Fitch cut Russia outlook

Russia’s credit rating outlook was cut from "stable" to "negative" by Fitch Ratings, citing the potential impact of Western sanctions imposed after the Ukraine’s Crimea vote to join Russia.

Fitch’s move followed a decision by Standard & Poor’s to change its outlook on Russia to "negative". Both companies affirmed the ranking at BBB, the second-lowest investment grade.

“Since US and EU banks and investors may well be reluctant to lend to Russia under the current circumstances, the economy may slow further and the private sector may require official support,” Fitch said in a statement accompanying the decision. “Growth slowed to 1.3% in 2013 and investment is contracting.”

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