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Rating Action:

Moody's changes ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal outlook to positive

28 Nov 2006
Moody's changes ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal outlook to positive

Approximately EUR50 million of debt affected

London, 28 November 2006 -- Moody's Investors Service today changed the outlook on the A2 issuer rating of ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal S.A. ("ANA") to positive from stable. The outlook change also applies to the A2 rating of the EUR50 million 5.34% bonds due 2014 issued by ANAM - Aeroportos e Navegacao Aerea da Madeira, S.A., given that these bonds are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by ANA.

ANA's A2 rating continues to reflect the combination of the following inputs under Moody's methodology for government-related issuers: (i) a Baseline Credit Assessment of 7 (on a scale of 1 to 21, where 1 represents the lowest credit risk), (ii) the Aa2 local currency rating of the Government of the Republic of Portugal, (iii) low dependence, and (iv) medium support.

The positive outlook reflects ANA's recent and projected performance, which suggests an improved financial profile that may be more in line with a Baseline Credit Assessment of 6, although this is somewhat offset by the uncertainties over the form that ANA's privatisation will take and the nature and impact on ANA of expenditure on the new Lisbon airport.

ANA has seen strong traffic growth over the recent past, further evidenced by 8% growth in airport traffic over the first 10 months of 2006, which has fed through to operating cash flow. Moody's expects continued good growth at the ANA airports over the short to medium term. Furthermore, the most recent single major piece of capital expenditure, the new extension capacity at Porto airport, has been successfully completed, and future capital expenditure (prior to significant expenditure on the new Lisbon airport) will be more modest and can be committed in accordance with demand as it evolves. In Moody's view, this evidences a core flexible financial position going forward.

In the first quarter of 2006, the Portuguese Government announced that it intended to privatise ANA through the sale of an undetermined amount of the share capital. The timing, methodology and sale parameters remain unknown. Moody's notes that the privatisation of ANA needs to be seen in the light of the Government's commitment to build a new airport for Lisbon, with a target to achieve opening by 2017, and that the cost will be significant given that it is to be located on a green-field site. In addition, the Government has currently given no guidance as to how the airport will be financed and the ownership relationship with ANA. The uncertainties surrounding ANA's future ownership, possible financial strategy following any changes, and capital expenditure obligations within this context, warrant caution over a medium-term view of ANA's financial profile, hence causing some constraining influence on the Baseline Credit Assessment. However, Moody's Support assessment for ANA already factors a possible partial sale of the Government's ownership of ANA, so any reduction in this assessment would only be warranted if the Government were to sell down to a minority interest.

ANA's rating could be upgraded if the form and scope of ANA's privatisation become clearer and there is continued evidence of a financial profile commensurate with a Baseline Credit Assessment of 6. Moody's would expect ANA to retain FFO Interest Cover consistently above 4.5 times and Adjusted RCF to Net Adjusted Debt consistently above 15% to be consistent with this financial profile. Any debt-raising exercise on the back of capital expenditure pertaining to the New Lisbon Airport would be an important factor in such calculations.

However, ANA's rating might experience downward pressure if FFO Interest Cover were to fall materially below 4 times and Adjusted RCF to Net Adjusted Debt were to fall materially below 10%. Moody's believes that such a development could (but need not) arise over the medium term as a result of a substantial capital expenditure programme for the New Lisbon Airport or through changes to ANA's financial leverage policies following any privatisation.

Following this rating action, ANA will have the following ratings outstanding:

Issuer Rating -- A2, positive outlook

ANAM -- Aeroportos e Navegacao Aerea da Madeira, S.A. EUR50 million bonds guaranteed by ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A. -- A2, positive outlook

ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal, S.A. is the operator of all the airports on mainland Portugal and the Azores, and owns 70% of ANAM -- Aeroportos e Navegacao Aerea da Madeira, S.A., the operator of the airports in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. ANA had consolidated revenues of EUR298.5 million and total assets of EUR1.287 billion as at 31 December 2005.

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Eric de Bodard
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Moody's France S.A.
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Andrew Blease
Senior Vice President
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Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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