BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 26
By Nargiz Sadikhova - Trend:
Fitch Ratings has affirmed JSC Astana Gas KMG's (AG) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB' and National Long-Term Rating at 'A(kaz)', outlooks are stable, Trend reports citing Fitch.
The affirmation reflects the project's unchanged strong linkage to the ultimate sponsor, the Republic of Kazakhstan (BBB/Stable).
As per Government-Related Entities (GRE) Criteria, Fitch classifies AG as an entity with strong linkage to its ultimate sponsor, the Republic of Kazakhstan, based on state funding, policy support, and indirect full state ownership and control via Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC (Samruk, BBB/Stable, 50 percent) and JSC National Management Holding Baiterek (Baiterek, BBB/Stable, 50 percent).
"We view that the state's incentive to support AG in case of a default is held back by the limited usage of the pipeline project until grid connections are finalised and the project's funding, which is only moderately reliant on international sources," the Fitch said.
Factors that could, individually or collectively, lead to negative rating action/downgrade: A downgrade of Kazakhstan's sovereign rating; A reduction in implied support and commitment from the government, as well as importance of AG's project to Kazakhstan
Factors that could, individually or collectively, lead to positive rating action/upgrade: An upgrade of Kazakhstan's sovereign rating; Clear allocation of funds to cover all project costs resulting in a SCP assessment four notches or less from the sovereign IDR.
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