Fitch Ratings, one of the three major credit rating agencies along with Moody’s and Standard & Poors, gave South Korea an AA- (Stable) rating earlier this week. This makes them ranked above Japan (A+ Negative) and China (A+ Stable). AA- is Fitch’s fourth highest ranking, below AAA (good ole U.S. of A, Australia, Canada, Germany), AA+ (Hong Kong, Bermuda) and AA (UAE, Belgium, Kuwait), but still in the “High Grade” category. Japan and China are in the “Upper Medium Grade” category.
Japan is still ahead of South Korea in S&P’s rankings (AA- vs. A) but dead even in Moody’s (Aa3).
Fitch cited Korea’s stable growth during and beyond the 2008 Financial Crisis as a key reason for the upgrade. Not sure if Fitch realizes that Korea’s growth has been slowing as of late. Also, their most recent consumer debt levels are not too hot either.