No rating action, no new report from Moody's yesterday

HUNGARY - In Brief 04 May 2019 by Istvan Racz

A certain part, though probably not the majority, of the market may be disappointed by the fact that Moody's did not take any action on their Baa3/Stable sovereign rating for Hungary at their pre-announced revision date yesterday. Moreover, Moody's did not even pick up the issue, missing the opportunity to issue a new report or saying anything on Hungary on this occasion.The last time Moody's assessed Hungary was in November 2018, when they cited problems like dependence on the European car industry, the tightness of the domestic labor market and the prospective running out of available EU transfers as reasons for them not to improve their rating. However, recently a number of analysts and market players have appeared expecting Moody's at least to improve their rating outlook, especially following the upgrades from Fitch Ratings and S&P this February. We did not have a very strong view on the issue, seeing an 50% chance for an improvement of the rating outlook but no realistic chance for an upgrade.Going forward, the next revision date for the leading agencies will be August 16, when both S&P and Fitch Ratings will have an opportunity to say something. However, these agencies are unlikely to take any action, given the most recent upgrades from them, to BBB/Stable in both cases. The next revision date for Moody's will be October 25, but we do not see the prospect for any significant improvement in the problem areas identified by the agency, and so we do not expect any rating improvement. And this means that the changes of Hungary's sovereign rating are pretty much done for 2019, as far as the three big agencies are concerned.

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