RPT-Fitch rates Noble Group's guaranteed debentures 'AAA(tha)(EXP)'
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April 5 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings (Thailand) Limited has assigned Noble Group Limited's (Noble) issue of up to USD100m equivalent in Thai baht guaranteed debentures due 2016 an expected National Long-Term 'AAA(tha)(EXP)' rating. The debentures, which are guaranteed by Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), have a Stable Outlook.
Key Rating Drivers
Guarantee from CGIF: The rating of the debentures reflects the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee of scheduled payments of interest and principal provided by CGIF. In Fitch's view CGIF's credit profile is stronger than Thailand's Long-Term Local Currency IDR of 'A-', which is equivalent to 'AAA(tha)' on the National rating scale. The debentures are, therefore, rated at 'AAA(tha)(EXP)'. Risk from acceleration: The bondholder representative may demand payment under the guarantee only upon the occurrence of a non-payment event under the bonds. The bondholder representative has the right to accelerate the bond payments against the issuer upon an occurrence of any event of default. However, if the bondholder representative exercises this right, CGIF will no longer be obligated to make payments under the guarantee.
Currency risk: There exists the risk that the bondholders may not receive payment in Thai baht under the guarantee, if the guarantor determines that it is impossible or impracticable or that it is unable on commercially reasonable terms and in accordance with its policy to obtain Thai baht to fund the bond payment. In this event, CGIF may make the payment with an equivalent amount in a substitute currency, which is the US dollar.
Established as a trust fund of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in November 2010, CGIF provides financial guarantee insurance to corporate bonds issued in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus Japan, China and Korea, to protect investors against default. CGIF's capital contributors include the ASEAN as well as the ADB, China, Japan and Korea.
Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to negative rating
- deterioration in CGIF's credit profile relative to Thailand's Long-Term Local Currency IDR
Positive: No positive action is expected as the rating is at the highest of the National rating scale 'AAA(tha)'
For more information on Noble's ratings, see credit update report on Noble, dated 6 February 2013, available at www.fitchratings.com.
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