May 12, 2017 / 4:02 PM / 3 months ago

BRIEF-S&P says Sultanate of Oman ratings lowered to 'BB+/B' on weaker external buffers

May 12 (Reuters) - S&P Global Ratings:

* S&P lowers Oman sovereign credit rating to BB+ from BBB-

* Says Sultanate of Oman ratings lowered to 'BB+/B' on weaker external buffers; outlook negative

* Says Oman's external buffers have weakened to the extent that they are insufficient to mitigate risk from volatile export revenue base

* Says assess Omani government's contingent liabilities as limited, including those related to banking system

* Says do not anticipate that conflict in neighboring Yemen will spill over into Oman

* Says downgrade reflects view Omani government's external financing needs resulted in large net external asset position declining to level insufficient to mitigate risk from export revenue base

* Says cannot rule out possibility that Oman "could experience disruptive period of uncertainty" if royal family does not quickly agree on the sultan's successor

* Says based on S&P's projections for continued sizable current account deficits, expect Oman to be in narrow net external debtor position of 12 percent in 2020 Source text:

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