BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 26. Fitch Ratings has affirmed Uzbekistan’s Uzbekneftegaz JSC’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB-' with a Stable Outlook, Trend reports via Fitch.
Uzbekneftegaz (UNG) is a fully state-owned integrated natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons producer with strong links with the government.
UNG's 'b+' Standalone Credit Profile (SCP) is under pressure from higher-than-previously-expected leverage and tight standalone liquidity.
However, Fitch expects its leverage to improve as its gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant ramps up and the company to be able to manage its refinancing in 2023 and beyond. The 'b+' SCP also reflects UNG's medium-scale production, integration into downstream activities, low-cost position and limitations of the general operating environment in Uzbekistan.
UNG's $700 million senior unsecured notes (BB-/RR4) are rated in line with the IDR and using a generic approach for 'BB' category issuers, which reflects the instrument ranking in the capital structure, in accordance with our Corporates Recovery Ratings and Instrument Ratings Criteria.