12 Sep 2022

"STANDARD AND POOR'S" REAFFIRMED THE LONG-TERM CREDIT RATING "BBB-" OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF STARA ZAGORA

The international rating agency "Standard & Poor's" has reaffirmed the long-term credit rating "BBB-" of the Municipality of Stara Zagora for 2022. The outlook remains stable, thanks to the efforts of the Municipality to maintain reasonable levels of debt and stable liquidity. The country's real GDP per capita is expected to reach growth of 1.6% in 2022 and continue to grow, reaching close to 3.0% in 2023.

The rating of Stara Zagora Municipality is supported by the commitment of the municipal leadership to over-implement its budget, which results in lower debt levels, compared to other both national and international debt levels. Despite geopolitical obstacles and the war in Ukraine, analysts expect Bulgaria's economy, as well as Stara Zagora's in particular, to continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regardless of the strong financial indicators of the Municipality of Stara Zagora, the predictability of the long-term financial policy of the city is still limited, due to the nature of the institutional framework in which the Bulgarian municipalities function and the leading role of the central government in Bulgaria. The predictability of Stara Zagora's finances is limited, as the lengthy process of forming a government may lead to delays in EU-funded projects or the adjustment of government transfers to rising inflation rates.

According to the international agency, the management of municipal finances in the short term is adequate. The assessment also points to the country's weak banking sector and its importance in providing external liquidity.

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