Fitch upgrades Ferrexpo to 'BB-', outlook stable
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Ukraine-based Ferrexpo Plc's (Ferrexpo) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BB-' from 'B+', the outlook is stable, the rating agency said on its website.
"The upgrade follows Ukraine's Country Ceiling upgrade to 'B' from 'B-' on September 6, 2019. The IDR of Ferrexpo remains two notches above the Country Ceiling, reflecting good operational performance together with limited debt on its balance sheet with a smooth maturity profile. The rating action also takes account of incremental debt amortization over the next four years and flexibility for the business to reduce capex and/or dividends under less supportive market conditions, as evidenced in 2015-2017," the report says.
"Fitch assesses Ferrexpo's business and financial profile in the 'BB' category. However, the company's credit quality is constrained by the operating environment in Ukraine and weak scores for governance structure, group structure and financial transparency," according to the document.
As reported, on December 10 the international rating agency Moody's Investors Service improved the forecast for Ferrexpo's rating from "stable" to "positive." At the same time, Moody's affirmed the corporate rating of Ferrexpo (CFR) at "B3" and the probability of default rating (PDR) at "B3-PD."
Ferrexpo Group is the largest producer and exporter of pellets among the countries of the former USSR. Its current production assets are Poltava GOK and Yeristovo GOK. In 2018, the company produced 10.6 million tonnes of iron ore pellets.
Ferrexpo Plc shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker FXPO.