Fitch mulls ratings upgrade for Saudi Arabia

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Fitch on Wednesday affirmed Saudi Arabia's AA-minus rating but said the country could see an upgrade in coming months because of progress in handling social stressors and strengthened budget buffers.

Fitch revised the country's outlook to positive from stable.

The country could get a one-notch upgrade if it makes more progress tackling unemployment and diversifying the economy or on measures to stem the rise in the breakeven oil price, Fitch said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia's attempts to reform its expatriate-heavy labor market have put more than 600,000 locals into jobs at private companies, a sharp increase over previous rates.

Moody's Investors Service rates the country Aa3 with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor's rates Saudi Arabia AA-minus with a stable outlook.

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