No, it isn't the opening of "Borat," the well-publicized mockumentary about the fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev (aka Sacha Baron Cohen). Turns out that Standard & Poor's upgraded the country's foreign-currency sovereign debt rating to BBB from BBB-, citing "general improvements in Kazakhstan's general government balance sheet." "The upgrade is based on ongoing improvements in Kazakhstan's general government balance sheet," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Luc Marchand. "Kazakhstan's economy is still benefiting from the current high oil prices, while the government continues to handle concomitant challenges to macroeconomic stability prudently."
As you may have heard, the Kazakh government isn't exactly thrilled with how the former Soviet nation is protrayed. Keep in mind that Kazakhstan is trying to position itself as a modern nation of well-educated professionals and a major non-OPEC oil exporter. Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, a Kazakh opposition leader, said that "instead of fighting Borat we should look at other circumstances that have harmed our country's image." The film got mostly positive notices this morning.