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Announcement:

Moody's: Reliance's 9-month results support positive rating outlook

22 Jan 2013

Singapore, January 22, 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service says that the results of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) for the nine months ended 31 December 2012 continue to underpin the positive outlook on the Baa2 local currency issuer rating. RIL's revenue for the nine-month period grew 13% to USD51.7 billion from a year ago. Export revenues, which accounted for 63% of total revenue, increased 14.6% to USD32.7 billion.

"Higher selling prices across its refining, petrochemicals, and upstream exploration and production segments supported revenue growth," says Vikas Halan, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

While profitability declined marginally, the results were largely in line with Moody's expectations.

RIL's EBITDA margin fell to 10.1% for the nine-month period, from 12% during the same period a year ago, owing to lower levels of production at its KG-D6 field and pressure on margins from its petrochemical business. These adverse developments were partially offset by the improvement in refining margins.

The company achieved GRM of USD9.0/bbl for the nine-month period, unchanged from the year before. During the in the October-December period, RIL recorded its highest quarterly gross refining margins (GRM) -- of USD9.6/ barrel (bbl) -- so far in the current fiscal year ending March 2013 (FY2013).

The refining segment, which was the major contributor to earnings, recorded its highest ever quarterly EBIT of USD660 million. 9-month year-on-year segment revenues also rose by 17.1%.

RIL also kept its GRM premium over the Singapore complex, and maintained a high utilization rate of 113%; it reported a record crude throughput of 384.1 million barrels (52.4 million tons) for the first nine months of FY2013.

"We expect RIL to maintain its GRM for the remaining quarter of FY2013," says Halan.

Moody's estimates that RIL's debt/EBITDA for the 12 months to 31 December 2012 was 1.9x, in line with the adjusted leverage for FY2012 and FY2011, and which supports its rating.

The company's liquidity position was strong at the end of the nine months to 31 December 2012, with a cash balance of USD14.7 billion versus unconsolidated debt of USD13.1 billion.

Overall, Moody's expects that RIL's integrated refining and petrochemical business, its strong liquidity, and its prudent and measured investment strategy will continue to support its ratings.

But, the company's foreign currency bond ratings -- which are at Baa2 with a stable outlook -- remain constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds in India (Baa3 stable).

RIL's local currency rating could be upgraded, if the company manages to address some of the challenges in its upstream business, resulting in higher production along with market-linked pricing for its gas production.

Credit metrics that support an upgrade include retained cash flow/debt of above 30%-35% and EBIT/interest over 8.0x, both on a sustained basis. In the absence of any improvement in the upstream business, Moody's expects these ratios to remain below the upgrade threshold.

On the other hand, the outlook on the local currency rating could revert to stable, if: 1) the cash flows from RIL's upstream business decline more than expected because of a continued decrease in its gas production or owing to further negative regulatory actions; 2) RIL undertakes transformational debt-funded acquisitions; or 3) RIL pursues growth that entails higher business risk and is not part of its core petroleum business.

If its retained cash flow deteriorates because of a greater-than-expected decline in contributions from its refining and petrochemical businesses, such that retained cash flow/debt falls materially below 30%, then the outlook would revert to stable.

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was Global Refining and Marketing Rating Methodology published in December 2009. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

RIL is a leading Indian energy company with a large refining business, as well as an extensive petrochemicals operations and exploration and production business. The company operates one of the world's largest single-site refineries, the Jamnagar complex, with a refining capacity of 1.2 million bbl/day.

Vikas Halan
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Philipp L. Lotter
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Moody's: Reliance's 9-month results support positive rating outlook
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