Moody’s Upgrades Panama Canal’s Long-Term Rating

Source World Maritime News

via Panama Canal Authority

Rating agency Moody’s has upgraded the 20-year USD 450 million Senior Unsecured Bonds issued by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to A1 from A2, with a stable outlook.

As informed, this was based on the waterway’s strong performance since the expansion’s inauguration.

Moody’s noted that the Expanded Canal has increased overall tonnage and attracted new market segments, contributing to the waterway’s successful performance.

According to the company, “stronger cash flow generation coupled with a relatively low leverage has resulted in very solid financial metrics.”

“This upgrade in the long-term rating is the result of the Panama Canal’s financial strength, its proven track record of institutional independence and successful governance that continue to be key to the waterway’s success,” Francisco J. Miguez, Panama Canal Vice President for Finance, explained.

In addition, the credit rating agency noted that the rating “is one-notch above the A2 sovereign ceiling of Panama and three notches above the rating of the Government of Panama (Baa1 stable), implying low risk of moratorium restrictions and capturing the Canal’s very strong credit profile with a substantial international component of its revenues.”

Last month, the Panama Canal Board of Directors selected Ricaurte Vasquez as the next Panama Canal Administrator. Vasquez will take office on September 4, 2019, succeeding current Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, who concludes his seven-year term at the helm of the waterway.

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