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Rating Action:

Moody's de Mexico affirms Iberdrola Finanzas's Aaa.mx ratings

 The document has been translated in other languages

13 Dec 2013

Mexico, December 13, 2013 -- Moody's de Mexico affirmed the Aaa.mx backed senior unsecured national scale ratings of Iberdrola Finanzas, S.A.U. The Aaa.mx ratings on the Certificados Bursatiles were also affirmed. The ratings affirmation is based on Moody's Investors Service's affirmation today on the Baa1 senior unsecured ratings of Iberdrola S.A. (Iberdrola) and its guaranteed subsidiaries. The Certificados Bursatiles issued by Iberdrola Finanzas, S.A.U. are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Iberdrola S.A.

LIST OF AFFECTED DEBT INSTRUMENTS

MXN1,500,000,000.00 in Certificados Bursatiles due July, 2018 (IBDROLA 08): Aaa.mx affirmed

For further detail about the rationale on Moody's actions related to Iberdrola's ratings, please refer to Moody's website moodys.com.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The rating affirmation follows Moody's recent decision to affirm Spain's Baa3 government bond rating and to change its outlook to stable from negative. For more details, please refer to Moody's press release https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-changes-outlook-on-Spains-Baa3-government-bond-rating-to--PR_287655.

Moody's affirmation of Iberdrola's ratings at Baa1 continues to reflect the Iberdrola group's (1) scale and geographic diversification, with more than half its earnings and investments stemming from broadly diversified businesses in strong economic areas outside Spain -- such as the UK, the US -- as well as contributions from Brazil and Mexico which mitigates pressure on Spanish earnings; (2) the bias in group earnings towards regulated businesses. Regulated networks account for around 50% of EBITDA and quasi-regulated businesses, principally those focused on renewable energy for around 20% of EBITDA. The ratings also reflect (3) the company's strong and diversified liquidity profile; and (4) the company's continued commitment to improving its financial profile through ongoing divestments and other capital strengthening measures.

At the same time, the rating remains affected by a degree of regulatory uncertainty and a still weak demand environment in Spain. The electricity market is undergoing reform as part of government efforts to eliminate the structural imbalance in Spain between revenues and costs in the electricity system. Measures introduced in 2012 and 2013 have had a significant negative effect on utility earnings. Final details are still awaited through further legislation, in particular, relating to the remuneration for renewables, which is relevant to Iberdrola as the largest renewables producer amongst the large utilities. Iberdrola has estimated that measures introduced so far in 2012 and 2013 could cost around EUR1 billion of Spanish earnings in 2013. In addition, the government has just cut its EUR3.6 billion contribution to the electricity sector that was needed to eliminate the 2013 tariff deficit, as a result the electricity companies will need to fund their share (35% for Iberdrola) of this new deficit until it can be securitised.

Moody's expects that the company will continue with its deleveraging efforts which should allow an improvement in its financial profile, including a continuation of its disposal plan of EUR2 billion of non-core assets, of which around EUR1.2 billion have been achieved to date. A reduction in the tariff deficits it is required to fund in the future would also benefit the company's financial metrics. Such reduction is likely to be achieved through further securitisations or as a result of government measures.

The negative outlook on Iberdrola's ratings reflects (1) a degree of regulatory uncertainty as final details of the Spanish measures and effect on Iberdrola have yet to fully emerge; and (2) Moody's expectation that Iberdrola's financial metrics will remain somewhat weakly positioned in 2013 for the financial guidance for its Baa1 rating of retained cash flow (RCF)/net debt in the mid-teens in percentage terms and funds from operations (FFO)/net debt of around 20%, primarily due to earnings pressure in Spain and residual tariff deficits.

The ratings could stabilise (1) were the company to demonstrate over the course of 2014 that it was on track to deleverage and achieve the ratio guidance for the current Baa1 rating; and (2) assuming that the regulatory environment in Spain becomes more predictable.

Moody's could downgrade Iberdrola's ratings if (1) Iberdrola were unable to demonstrate that it could meet the ratio guidance noted above; (2) the company's holding company debt were to become increasing structurally subordinated to subsidiary debt; (3) risks relating to the operating, regulatory, political or macroeconomic environment were to increase; or (4) in the event of a renewed deterioration in Spain's creditworthiness, as captured by a downward movement in the Spanish government's rating.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Unregulated Utilities and Power Companies published in August 2009. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Period of time covered in the financial information used to determine the rating includes annual information from 2010 to 2012 and the last twelve months ended in September 30, 2013.

Moody's National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".mx" for Mexico. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Methodology published in October 2012 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings".

Iberdrola, based in Madrid Spain, is one of Europe's largest utility companies, with extensive operations in Spain, the UK, via its Glasgow-based subsidiary Scottish Power, and the US via Iberdrola USA. It also has significant renewable businesses through Iberdrola Renovables and operations in Brazil via its 39% holding in Neoenergia and its 100% holding in Elektro.

As of FYE 2012, Iberdrola's consolidated revenues were EUR34.2 billion.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Items of information used to determine the rating include financial data, operating information, operating data, historical performance data, other public information and Moody's information.

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's information.

The rating has been disclosed to the rated entity prior to public dissemination.

A general listing of the sources of information used in the rating process, and the structure and voting process for the rating committees responsible for the assignment and monitoring of ratings can be found in the Disclosure tab in www.moodys.com.mx.

The date of the last Credit Rating Action was November 5, 2012 when we assigned confirmed Iberdrola Finanzas' Aaa.mx ratings.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

This Rating is subject to upgrade or downgrade based on future changes in the financial condition of the Issuer/Security, and said modifications will be made without Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V accepting any liability as a result.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a 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 Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com.mx for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's 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.mx for further information.

Please see www.moodys.com.mx for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

The ratings issued by Moody's de Mexico are opinions regarding the credit quality of securities and/or their issuers and not a recommendation to invest in any such security and/or issuer.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Helen Francis
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Monica Merli
MD - Infrastructure Finance
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V
Ave. Paseo de las Palmas
No. 405 - 502
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
Mexico, DF 11000
Mexico
JOURNALISTS: 001-888-779-5833
SUBSCRIBERS:52-55-1253-5700

Moody's de Mexico affirms Iberdrola Finanzas's Aaa.mx ratings
No Related Data.
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