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Bolivia Upgraded to BB- From Fitch; Outlook Stable

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Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Bolivia had its credit rating raised by Fitch Ratings, which said the country’s rising foreign reserves and falling debt levels improve its flexibility to deal with economic “shocks.”

Fitch raised Bolivia’s long-term foreign currency rating by one level to BB-, or three steps below an investment grade, and said its outlook is stable. The upgrade put Fitch’s rating on the country at the same level with Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Corp.

“Bolivia’s upgrade reflects the country’s strengthened external buffers, improved sovereign debt profile and greater diversification of financing sources,” Fitch analysts including Cesar Arias wrote in a statement. “Increasing public investment levels could support growth momentum.”

The South American economy’s government debt may fall below 30 percent of its gross domestic product by 2014 from 32 percent last year, according to Fitch. Foreign reserves, which amount to $13.4 billion, are equivalent to half the size of its GDP, enough to cover 14 months of foreign debt payment, Fitch said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ye Xie in New York at yxie6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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