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Global Credit Research - 11 Nov 2010
Hong Kong, November 11, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded the issuer rating of China
National Offshore Oil Corp ("CNOOC") to Aa3 from A1.
The rating outlook is stable
The rating action has been prompted by Moody's decision to upgrade the
People's Republic of China's (PRC) ratings to Aa3 from A1
"CNOOC is a government-related issuer (GRI), and its
rating incorporates a high level of support from the government,
its 100% shareholder, as well as the company's importance
in the national oil & gas sector," says Renee Lam,
a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.
"Therefore, the change in the PRC's sovereign rating
to Aa3 from A1 prompts a corresponding rating change for CNOOC,"
As a GRI, CNOOC's Aa3 rating combines i) the company's baseline
credit assessment (BCA) of "5-7", which is equivalent to
an "A" rating on Moody's global scale, and ii) the high dependence
and high support that the PRC central government is likely to provide
in a distress situation.
CNOOC's BCA is underpinned by the strong credit profile of CNOOC Limited
-- its listed oil and gas exploration and production subsidiary
-- its conservative level of financial leverage, and considerable
financial flexibility, with solid cash reserves, against growing
The BCA also incorporates structural subordination as most of the group's
consolidated debt and operating assets are held by CNOOC's subsidiaries.
The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that CNOOC's fundamental
credit quality will remain steady, despite the uncertain nature
of the environment for the oil and petrochemicals industries.
Further upgrades would be driven by either 1) a strengthening of the company's
fundamental credit profile -- which is unlikely in the near-term,
given the increasing investment risks at its major earnings contributor,
CNOOC Limited -- or 2) a rise in Moody's assessment
of the degree of government support to the company. Further upgrade
of the sovereign rating will therefore unlikely trigger a corresponding
upgrade of CNOOC.
Downward rating pressure would emerge if there is a deterioration in the
BCA, which could result from substantially higher leverage at CNOOC
Ltd -- its E&P subsidiary - in turn due to further
large reserve acquisitions, or higher reinvestment risk.
Metrics at CNOOC Ltd that Moody's would look for include Adjusted Debt/PD
reserves rising above $4/BOE on a sustained basis.
A downgrade of China's ratings would trigger a rating downgrade of CNOOC.
The rating would also be lowered if there is a change in Moody's expectation
of the currently high level of government support.
The last rating action with respect to China National Offshore Oil Corp
was on October 8, 2010 when its rating was placed on review for
China National Offshore Oil Corp's rating has been assigned based on factors
that Moody's believe are relevant to the company's risk profile,
such as its (i) business risk and competitive position compared with other
firms within the industry; (ii) capital structure and financial risk;
(iii) projected performance over the near to intermediate term; and
(iv) management's track record and tolerance for risk. These attributes
were compared against other issuers both within and outside China National
Offshore Oil Corp's core industry. Moody's believes that China
National Offshore Oil Corp's ratings are comparable to those of other
issuers of similar credit risk.
China National Offshore Oil Corp is an integrated Chinese energy company
that is wholly-owned by China's State Council and ultimately the
PRC government. The company has substantial interests in its listed
subsidiaries, which are engaged in exploration and production and
providing oil services, in addition to interests in other downstream
businesses, including refining and petrochemicals.
Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following:
parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential
and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.
Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available
on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining
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.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
Moody's upgrades China National Offshore Oil to Aa3; outlook stable
24/F One Pacific Place
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
No Related Data.
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