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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns definitive Ba1 rating to RusHydro's notes

27 Oct 2010

Moscow, October 27, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a definitive Ba1 senior unsecured bond rating to the RUB20 billion 7.875% Notes due 2015 (the Notes) issued by RusHydro Finance Limited (RusHydro Finance) , a special purpose vehicle, incorporated under the laws of Ireland, of JSC RusHydro (RusHydro), for the sole purpose of financing a loan to RusHydro. The outlook is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The Ba1 rating assigned to the Notes is equivalent to RusHydro's corporate family rating, given that RusHydro Finance issued the Notes for the sole purpose of financing a loan to RusHydro and therefore Noteholders rely solely on the latter's creditworthiness to service and repay the Notes. RusHydro will use proceeds of the respective loan for general corporate purposes, including investments. The rating and LGD assessment of LGD4 are based on the assumption that the Notes rank pari passu with other senior unsecured and unsubordinated financial indebtedness of RusHydro (apart from obligations mandatorily preferred by law).

Moody's definitive rating on this debt obligation confirms the provisional rating assigned on 11 October 2010. Moody's rating rationale was set out in a press release issued on that date as follows.

Moody's regards RusHydro as a government-related issuer (GRI). In accordance with Moody's GRI rating methodology, the ratings of RusHydro and of the proposed Notes incorporate uplift from RusHydro's standalone credit quality measured by a Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of 13 (on a scale of 1 to 21 and equivalent to Ba3). The uplift to the BCA is driven by the credit quality of the Russian government, which owns around 60% of the company's shares, and Moody's assessment of strong probability of state support in the event of financial distress, as well as high default dependence between the company and the government.

RusHydro's ratings remain constrained by the low visibility of the evolution of its credit profile in the medium term, with headroom under the company's financial metrics regarded as transitional. At the same time, the ratings are underpinned by the company's strong business fundamentals as Russia's largest low-cost hydro generator, which is well positioned to benefit from the liberalisation of Russia's wholesale power market and should be able to absorb the risks of market fluctuations.

The outlook on the ratings is stable, factoring in the headroom in the company's financial profile at the end of 2009 and its expected medium-term development within the current rating category and acceptable liquidity. Moody's currently considers an upward revision in RusHydro's ratings to be unlikely in the near term as the company's credit profile is expected to evolve, pressured by the challenges both specific to the company and the Russian electric utility sector.

RusHydro's BCA could be negatively impacted, if there were a negative shift in the evolving regulatory and market framework and the company failed to limit deterioration of its financial profile, with the Debt-to-EBITDA ratio above 3x, while FFO interest coverage and the RCF-to-Debt ratios fall below 5.0x and 30%, respectively. The company's inability to maintain adequate liquidity could also pressure the rating. Negative pressure on the rating could also result from Moody's assessment of a material reduction in the probability of state support.

The principal methodologies used in rating RusHydro were Government-Related Issuers: Methodology Update published in July 2010 and Rating Methodology for Global Unregulated Utilities and Power Companies published in August 2009. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found on Moody's website.

Headquartered in Moscow, RusHydro is Russia's largest generator of hydro electricity. RusHydro is controlled by the Russian government, whose stake in the company is approximately 60%. In 2009, the company's contribution to Russia's total installed capacity and electricity output was around 12%, if the SS HPP capacity was counted, and 9%, respectively. In 2009, RusHydro's IFRS revenues were RUB115.6 billion (approximately USD3.7 billion).

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service's information, confidential and proprietary Moody's Analytics' information.

Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of assigning a credit rating.

MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

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

London
Monica Merli
MD - Infrastructure Finance
Infrastructure Finance
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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Moody's assigns definitive Ba1 rating to RusHydro's notes
No Related Data.
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