The credit rating of Moscow (hereinafter, the City) is based on the City’s minimal debt load, stable liquidity surplus, and the highest possible budget and economic profile assessments.
The population of Moscow was 12.66 mln as of January 1, 2021, or approximately 9% of the Russian population. Moscow ranks first in the Russian Federation in terms of total gross regional product (GRP). Its high level of economic development is supported by its status as the political, financial, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of the country.
key assessment factors
The City has the highest possible economic profile assessment. The highest possible primary assessment of the City’s economic profile is based on two factors: the ratio of the City’s per capita GRP to the national average GRP and the ratio of average wage to subsistence minimum.
Unemployment in Moscow is consistently low. It was 2.6% in 2021 according to the ILO’s methodology, while the average for Russia was 4.8%. Diversification of tax revenues by industry is high.
Unemployment levels and tax base concentration justify assigning the City the highest final economic profile assessment. The City is characterized by a high level of social and utility infrastructure development.
Minimal debt load. The City’s debt to current income ratio and debt to GRP ratio are consistently very low. Borrowings planned for 2022 do not change the debt load assessment. Nevertheless, ACRA is of the opinion that the City may not fully implement its borrowing plan contemplated by the budget law for this year.
As of December 1, 2022, the City's debt included bonds (82%) maturing in 2024–2028 and budget loans (17%) due in 2024–2037. The City’s interest expenses are insignificant; as of the aforementioned date, Moscow showed no debt refinancing risks in 2022–2023.
High operational efficiency of the budget. The City’s budget is characterized by a high level of operational efficiency. The current operations to current income ratio in 2019–2023 indicates that the City has enough internal revenues and accumulated liquidity to finance its development program. The ratio of the averaged modified budget deficit to averaged current revenues is not taken into account due to the low debt load.
The share of TNTR in total revenues (excluding subventions) is close to 100% annually. Capital expenditures have exceeded 20% on a yearly basis since 2018. Taking into account the parameters planned for the 2022–2023 budget, which assume a budget deficit, the budget profile assessment should remain at the highest possible level.
Budget liquidity surplus. A significant amount of funds in the City’s budget accounts (including deposits) provides a substantial reserve of liquidity. Income from placing temporarily available funds in bank deposits on an annual basis exceeds interest on debt servicing. The liquidity ratio exceeds the maximum possible assessment.
Maintaining the high operational efficiency of the budget in the long term;
Maintaining high budget liquidity.
POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OR RATING CHANGE FACTORS
The Stable outlook assumes that the rating will highly likely stay unchanged within the 12 to 18-month horizon.
A negative rating action may be prompted by:
Significant decline in operational balance surplus and substantial increase in debt load;
Substantial changes in inter-budget relations in the Russian Federation.
Moscow Government Bond, 2021 (ISIN RU000A1030S9), maturity date: April 23, 2024, issue volume: RUB 35 bln — AAA(RU).
Moscow Government Bond, 2021 (ISIN RU000A1030T7), maturity date: April 21, 2026, issue volume: RUB 10.4 bln — AAA(RU).
Moscow Government Bond, 2021 (ISIN RU000A1033Z8), maturity date: May 18, 2028, issue volume: RUB 70 bln — AAA(RU).
Rationale. In ACRA’s opinion, the bonds listed above are senior unsecured debt instruments, the credit rating of which is equal to the credit rating of Moscow.
The credit ratings have been assigned to Moscow and to the bonds (ISIN RU000A1030S9, RU000A1033Z8, RU000A1030T7) issued by Moscow under the national scale for the Russian Federation based on the Methodology for Assigning Credit Ratings to Regions and Municipal Entities of the Russian Federation and the Key Concepts Used by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency Within the Scope of Its Rating Activities. The Methodology for Assigning Credit Ratings to Financial Instruments on the National Scale for the Russian Federation was also applied to assign the credit ratings to the above issues.
The credit rating of Moscow and the credit ratings of the bonds (ISIN RU000A1030S9, RU000A1033Z8, RU000A1030T7) issued by Moscow were published by ACRA for the first time on August 30, 2017, April 26, 2021, May 21, 2021, and June 7, 2021, respectively.
The credit rating of Moscow and the credit ratings of the bonds (ISIN RU000A1030S9, RU000A1033Z8, RU000A1030T7) issued by Moscow are expected to be revised within 182 days after the publication date of this press release as per the Calendar of sovereign credit rating revisions and publications.
The credit ratings were assigned based on data provided by Moscow, information from publicly available sources (the Ministry of Finance, the Federal State Statistics Service, and the Federal Tax Service), and ACRA’s own databases. The credit ratings are solicited, and the Government of Moscow participated in the rating process.
In assigning the credit ratings, ACRA used only information, the quality and reliability of which was, in ACRA’s opinion, appropriate and sufficient to apply the methodologies.
ACRA provided no additional services to the Government of Moscow. No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of credit rating assignment.