Approximately 55% of all rated sovereigns are investment grade (BBB- or above) as of June 30, 2015, according to a new report by the S&P.
This ratio basically unchanged from five years ago, although it’s lower than the 59% peak in June 2008.
Overall, “global sovereign creditworthiness has declined slightly since on the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008,” according to the report. “The average long-term sovereign credit rating has fallen by just over one notch to between ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BBB’, compared with just below ‘BBB+’ in 2008.”
Additionally, negative outlooks still outnumber positive outlooks, which suggests that over the next 12 months downgrades will outnumber upgrades.
Notably, most of the negative outlooks are in the Middle East, Africa, and the CIS — the regions that were hit the hardest by the drop in oil prices last year.
Countries boasting S&P’s pristine AAA rating include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK. Notably, the US lost its AAA rating in August 2011 amid persistent “political brinksmanship” regarding the US’s statutory debt ceiling.