Due to the recent drastic decline in the price of oil, the S&P decided to lower the sovereign credit ratings of several Middle Eastern oil producing countries. The price of oil has crashed since June, with S&P cutting their forecast for average Brent oil from $105 per barrel down to $55 for 2015. An increase in supply led to the drastic plunge in price.
The credit ratings for Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Oman were reduced while the S&P lowered its outlook for the major oil producer, Saudi Arabia. Last year OPEC, which included Saudi Arabia as one of its major members, decided not to respond to the increased global supply of oil, choosing not to reduce their production.
Oil supply from OPEC averaged about 30.37 million barrels per day in January. That was an increase since December, when the average barrels produced per day was only 30.24. The S&P added that it did not believe that the lower oil prices would hurt Malaysia, an opinion they share with Malaysian officials.