SOCAR Wait for First International Loan Rating

Oil&Gas Materials 19 September 2008 14:05 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 September / Trend corr. E.Ismayilov /The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) is ready to receive the first loan rating from international rating companies, Suleyman Gasomov, Vice President of SOCAR on Economic Issues, said.

Company has signed a contract with the Fitch Ratings agency and the contract project with Moody's Investor Service has already been developed. Fitch Ratings has commenced studies in SOCAR. "We together with consultants from Citibank and our juridical advisors are working over the issues," said Gasimov.

SOCAR wants to receive loan rating due to its will to issue bonds. Company is ready to issue first bonds in 2009. The first issue is expected will total $500mln which is the most acceptable one according to international rating agencies.

SOCAR's securities are envisaged for five years term. The bonds will be issued since 2009 due to the international audit is necessary to implement within two years. In 2007, SOCAR implemented the first international audit and plans to carry out the second audit as for 2008. Furthermore, the American Miller & Land company examined the hydrocarbon reserves in SOCAR fields. American company's report has already been approved by SOCAR.

Azerbaijan has not implemented the plans on placement of Euro bonds in foreign markets. The Finance Ministry has not specified the terms to place Euro bonds in the sum of $500mln. Furthermore, a range of Azerbaijani banks are connected to the process actively. The Azerbaijani International Bank stated about $200mln, Unibank - $150mln and Bank Standard - $150-200mln.