S&P, Moody’s Vietnam rating won't dip due to oil rig row

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Protesters wave Vietnamese flags on a street outside a factory in Binh Duong Province on May 13 to protest China’s illegal deployment of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters. Photo credit: AFP Protesters wave Vietnamese flags on a street outside a factory in Binh Duong Province on May 13 to protest China’s illegal deployment of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters. Photo credit: AFP

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Representatives from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s both affirmed that they won't lower Vietnam’s financial ratings following their current oil rig row with China in the East Sea.
Many foreign investors began to worry about Vietnam's economic stability following the foreign factory riots last month.
This week, representatives from both credit rating companies told a Saigon Times reporter in Singapore that there's no need for alarm.
An anonymous representative from Moody's said Vietnam’s territorial waters dispute with China hasn't affected the country’s ratings.
An unnamed S&P spokesperson offered similar assurances, noting that China's placement of a US$1-billion oil rig in Vietnamese waters is only a small move in the Asian giant’s long strategy to control the East Sea.
An S&P representative noted that last month's riots at factories outside Ho Chi Minh City and in the central province of Ha Tinh were a momentary eruption of frustration caused by China’s aggression.
The Vietnamese government's efforts to re-establish security for foreign investors have worked, the sources said, while declining to comment on how much worse the situation could get.
Both believed that the Vietnamese and Chinese governments will strive to prevent the dispute from snowballing into a military conflict.
Asked about a major dip in the stock market and a surge in the price of gold and dollars following the unrest, the S&P spokesperson dismissed them as predictable result of any bad news.
The assessment agency said investors aren't fleeing the country and shouldn't worry about the Vietnam's financial ratings, as long as the territorial waters dispute doesn't escalate into a larger conflict.
S&P also said the oil rig tensions won't influence Vietnam’s ratings as much as other direct economic factors, such as a slowdown in China’s economic growth, which will have a ripple affect on Vietnam’s GDP growth and exports.

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