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JOHANNESBURG - The record cycle of sovereign rating downgrades looks to be over, rating agency Fitch said yesterday, predicting that there would be as many upgrades as downgrades next year. 

“It’s been a very negative picture, but we now think that cycle is ending,” Fitch’s sovereign group chief operating officer, Tony Stringer, said at a conference hosted by the firm. 

He said it expected to make about 20 downgrades this year, after a record number of cuts last year. With the ratio between positive and negative outlooks on ratings 1:1, Stringer expect­ed the amount of downgrades to continue to fall. 

- REUTERS