(The following was released by the rating agency)
BEIJING/SINGAPORE, April 11 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has
assigned CNPC General Capital Limited, BVI's proposed USD
guaranteed senior notes due 2017 and 2022 expected ratings of
The notes will be irrevocably and unconditionally guaranteed
by CNPC Finance (HK) Limited (CPFHK) ('A+'/Stable), a wholly
owned subsidiary of China Petroleum Finance Limited. The latter
is 51%-owned by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC;
'A+'/Stable) and 49%-owned by PetroChina Limited (PetroChina)
('A+'/Stable), which is itself 86.51%-owned by CNPC.
The expected rating is based on information provided to
Fitch by CNPC as at the date of the rating assignment. The final
rating is contingent upon receipt of final documents conforming
to information already received.
China Petroleum Finance Limited (CPF) and CPFHK together
function as the sole treasury centre for the CNPC group,
centralising settlements, debt financing and cash management.
CNPC appoints all CPF's and CPFHK's senior management members
and CPF's board exclusively comprises senior management of CNPC
and PetroChina. CPF's consolidated budget and business plans are
approved by CNPC.
The notes will be governed by substantially the same terms
as the notes issued by CNPC (HK) Overseas Capital Limited in
April 2011, under which, for the benefit of the note holders,
CNPC and CPF executed keepwell agreements with CPFHK. These
keepwell agreements, while not guarantees, are considered to be
beneficial to note holders, by ensuring that CPF and CPFHK have
sufficient resources to meet their financial obligations.
However, in Fitch's view, equalising CPFHK's rating with CNPC's
is not primarily dependent on these agreements but based on the
overall assessment of legal, operational and strategic ties (see
the rating report China National Petroleum Corporation dated 14
April 2011 for more details).
Fitch on 5 April 2012 affirmed CNPC's, CPFHK's and
PetroChina's 'A+' Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default
Ratings (LTFC IDRs) with Stable Outlook and 'AA-' Long-Term
Local-Currency (LTLC) IDRs with Negative Outlook (see rating
action commentary on www.fitchratings.com).
CNPC's ratings are capped at China's Long-Term Foreign and
Local Currency IDR of 'A+' (Stable) and 'AA-' (Negative),
reflecting government ownership of the company. Any change to
China's sovereign IDRs will lead to a corresponding change to
the IDRs of CNPC and CPFHK.