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Moody's upgrades ratings of number of Russian companies to investment level

January 30, 12:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, Moody's changed the outlook on Russia's ratings to positive from stable due to "growing evidence of institutional strength"

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MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Moody's has upgraded ratings of 19 Russian companies to ‘Baa3’ (investment level), the rating agency reported Tuesday.

The move follows Russia's country ceiling for foreign currency debt rising to Baa3 and the outlook on Russia's long-term issuer Ba1 rating changing to positive from stable, the agency said.

As reported earlier, Moody's changed the outlook on Russia's ratings to positive from stable due to "growing evidence of institutional strength" and "increased evidence of economic and fiscal resiliency."

Meanwhile, the agency assigned positive rating outlook to 13 Russian companies, among them Alrosa, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, MMK (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works), Novatek, NLMK (Novolipetsk Steel Works), Nornickel, Russian Railways, Severtal, Tatneft, Transneft, and Federal Passenger Company. Moody’s also assigned stable rating outlook to six corporates - Rosneft, Rosneft International Holdings Limited and Bashneft, as well as InterRAO, Sibur, and PhosAgro.

"These companies possess a number of characteristics, which give them a degree of resilience against sovereign or macroeconomic stress," Moody's Associate Managing Director Victoria Maisuradze was quoted as saying.

"15 companies in the oil and gas, steel, mining and chemical sectors exhibit particularly strong credit metrics with a substantial share of foreign currency revenue and strong liquidity profiles, which gives them a degree of resilience at times of sovereign stress. All of these entities have robust business models, are cost leaders in their sectors and visible players both in the domestic market and abroad, factors that merited a modest rating differentiation relative to Russia's Ba1 long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt rating," the agency said.

Previously Moody’s assigned positive rating outlook to Sberbank, VTB, VEB and a number of other financial organizations up from stable.

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