31 August 2004, Moody’s Investors Service International Rating Agency assigned a Baa3 credit rating to OAO AK Transneft, Russian oil transporting company. According to Moody’s ranking, this high level means first category investment grade, corresponding to the sovereign rating of the RF.
According to Jeremy Hawes, a senior vice president at Moody’s, “OAO AK Transneft’s rating reflects its stable high performance growth and financial position, and its important role in the development of Russia’s oil sector and national economy, in general.”
Moody’s analysts point out the following Transneft’s key positive factors: Company’s status of a state-owned company, operating under permanent governmental control and being practically monopolist in the industry in combination with favorable regulating conditions, and Company’s high profitability.
Moody’s analysts have noted Company’s immense objectives of upgrading the pipeline system, expansion of export facilities, connection of new fields to Transneft’s system to ensure Company’s sustainable growth.
“Moody’s decision means that the Company has been assigned a credit rating of investment grade equaling that of the Russian Federation,” says President of Transneft Simon Vainshtock. “This is undoubtedly a remarkable result – none of Russian natural monopolies has managed to obtain such rank from Moody’s. Moody’s high rating evidences the trust and respect that the Company enjoys both in Russia and abroad, being a most important infrastructure element within the oil sector. The Company has been seen substantially raise its credit worthiness on the international loan capital markets.”
Moody’s has also assigned a Ba1 issuer rating to Transneft’s priority unsecured debts, being one step lower than Transneft’s senior implied, for Company’s unsecured debt instruments are of less priority against its secured debt instruments, currently forming the basis of the debt position of Transneft.
AK Transneft’s financial figures are sound enough, and the Company is pursuing a conservative financial policy, according to analysts at Moody’s. This made it possible for Moody’s, when projecting changes in Transneft ratings, to make a ‘stable’ forecast.