Péter Duronelly, portfolio manager at Aegon Fund Management, told state news agency MTI that Moody’s may have passed up the chance to upgrade the country’s sovereign rating because of its still high external debt, even though Hungary has reduced the level more than any other emerging market country over the past five years.

Duronelly said Hungary’s state debt also remains high, though the fiscal balance is better than anybody would have thought a couple of years ago.

K&H Bank chief analyst Dávid Németh noted that ratings agencies tend to wait a while between the time they assign a positive outlook to a rating and an upgrade. Moody’s changed the outlook for Hungary’s rating from “stable” to “positive” in November, at its previous scheduled review. Németh said that although the budget deficit was low last year and state debt fell, the government has taken no breakthrough measures in the past four months.

The chance of an upgrade will grow significantly in June, though by that time Hungary will have already refinanced some big maturing securities, he added.

Raiffeisen Bank senior analyst Zoltán Török said the big ratings agencies “don’t usually rush” to upgrade sovereigns, but chances are good Hungary will be moved out of the speculative category in the second half of the year.

The Ministry of National Economy said the market had priced in an upgrade for some time now, adding that yields on Hungarian government securities were, in a number of cases, lower than those on securities issued by sovereigns with higher ratings.

“The government expects an acknowledgment of Hungary’s economic success not just from the market and authoritative international organisations, but from the ratings agencies too in 2016,” the ministry said.

Analysts had cautioned before this latest review that Moody’s was likely to upgrade Hungary this year but probably not now. Moody’s next lists Hungary for rating reviews on July 8 and November 4 in its calendar, but the agency is under no obligation to upgrade on these dates.

The other big international rating agencies have also put Hungary down for a review in their calendars, Standard & Poor’s for March 18 and September 16 and Fitch Ratings for May 20 and November 18.

London-based Morgan Stanley’s analysts said Moody’s was likely to administrate an upgrade in July in response to Hungary’s economic policy environment becoming more predictable. “2016 could be the year when the relationship between the Hungarian government and the banking system can normalise,” they said.

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