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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns (P)B1 to NFC's proposed bond

23 Jun 2010

Moscow, June 23, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a (P)B1, LGD5/74% rating with stable outlook to a proposed 5-year RUB3 billion bond to be issued by New Forwarding Company ("NFC"). NFC is a Russian subsidiary of Cyprus-domiciled Globaltrans Investment PLC ("Globaltrans"), which is in its turn a subsidiary of Transportation Investments Holding Ltd ("TIHL"). TIHL, domiciled in Cyprus as well, and its subsidiaries form National Transportation Group (" N-Trans") operating mainly in Russia; TIHL's/N-Trans' Corporate Family Rating is Ba3 with stable outlook.

The bond is to be issued to refinance some of NFC's foreign currency denominated liabilities and for general corporate purposes.

NFC's obligations arising from and with respect to the proposed bond will be guaranteed under a suretyship ("the Bond Suretyship") provided by Globaltrans. The Bonds Suretyship will be governed by the Russian law and is limited to RUB8 billion. Moody's acknowledges a legal opinion on the Bonds Suretyship stating that it is very unlikely that any claim , which a bondholder would have the right to bring against NFC, will not be covered by the Bonds Suretyship. Moody's notes that, under the Bonds Suretyship, Globaltrans will have a few days to satisfy the respective claims submitted by bondholders.

The (P)B1 bond rating is based on (i) N-Trans' Ba3 CFR with stable outlook and (ii) Moody's view of Globaltrans as N-Trans' key subsidiary, the creditworthiness of which is comparable to that of N-Trans. Moody's notes that Globaltrans represents N-Trans' rail-based transportation business line accounting for around 76% of N-Trans' total revenue, 68% of total EBITDA, 45% of total assets net of cash and 55% of total cash and cash equivalents of the group. Moody's expects Globaltrans to follow the same Ba3 CFR ratings guidelines that are applied by Moody's to N-Trans (please see Moody's credit opinion on TIHL/N-Trans published on 26 May 2010 for the ratings guidelines). If Globaltrans' standalone credit quality were to deteriorate compared to that of N-Trans, this could pressure the bond rating.

At the same time, the rating of the bond has been notched down by one notch reflecting a significant amount of secured debt within N-Trans ranking ahead of the unsecured bond. Given the significant amount of secured debt, Moody's assumes that trade debtors of N-Trans would be treated similar to the treatment of secured debt holders, with trade debt ranked ahead of the proposed bond.

Moody's issues provisional ratings in advance of the final issue of securities, and these ratings only represent Moody's preliminary opinion. Upon a conclusive review of the transaction, and the confirmation of the issue amount and the final capital structure, Moody's will assign a definitive rating to the securities. A definitive rating may differ from a provisional rating.

The last rating action on N-Trans was implemented on 17 May 2010, when Moody's changed the outlook on the group's Ba3 rating to stable from negative.

N-Trans' ratings were assigned by evaluating factors we believe relevant to its credit profile, including i) the business risk and market position within key business segments; ii) management's strategy, iii) the financial profile, and iv) the 2009 performance assessment and projections over the near to intermediate term. These attributes were compared against other companies both within and outside of N-Trans' key business segments and N-Trans' ratings were believed to be comparable to those of other issuers of similar credit risk.

Cyprus-based TIHL and its subsidiaries form N-Trans, one of the largest private rail transportation businesses and port terminal operators focusing on Russia. N-Trans' key business segments (rail transportation services and port terminal operations) consolidated under two Cyprus-domiciled subsidiaries - Globaltrans and Global Ports Investments PLC ("Global Ports"), respectively. N-Trans' 2009 revenue is estimated at around USD1.5 billion, with Globaltrans' contribution of 76% and Global Ports' share of 18%.

Paris
Eric de Bodard
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's France S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moscow
Ekaterina Botvinova
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Eastern Europe LLC
Telephone: +7 495 228 6060
Facsimile: +7 495 228 6091

Moody's assigns (P)B1 to NFC's proposed bond
No Related Data.
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