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TEXT-Fitch Affirms Holcim Capital (Thailand)'s Bonds at 'AA-(tha)'
(The following was released by the rating agency)
BANGKOK/SEOUL/SINGAPORE, January 25 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings (Thailand) Limited has affirmed Holcim Capital (Thailand) Ltd.'s (HCT) THB2bn guaranteed debentures due 2015 at National Long-Term 'AA-(tha)'. The Outlook is Stable.
The ratings are based entirely on an irrevocable and unconditional guarantee by Holcim Ltd (Holcim; 'BBB'/Stable). Holcim's ratings reflect its strong global market positions in cement, aggregates and concrete, its complementary product portfolio and its wide geographic diversification.
Holcim's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB' is two notches below Thailand's 'A-' Long-Term Local-Currency IDR, which correlates with 'AA-(tha)' on the Thai National Rating scale. As a result, changes in the International rating differential between Holcim and Thailand may affect the debentures' National rating. Also, a one-notch change in the International rating could result in a change of more than one notch in the National rating.
HCT provides financial support to Holcim's affiliated companies in Thailand by investing in debentures issued by Thai Roc-Cem Ltd., which holds 27.5% in Siam City Cement Public Company Limited (SCCC, 'A(tha)'/Stable) - Thailand's second largest cement producer. HCT's shareholders are Thai Roc-Cem Ltd. (51%) and Holderfin B.V. Netherlands (49%). Thai Roc-Cem Ltd. is 100%-owned by Holcim Participations (Thailand) Ltd., a 100%-owned subsidiary of Holderfin B.V., which is in turn wholly owned by Holcim Ltd. In December 2012, Holcim group reduced its stake in SCCC to 27.5% from 36.8%, but it remains one of the two largest shareholders in SCCC.
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