International rating agency Fitch has affirmed a long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured ratings of Russian metals holding Metalloinvest at BB, and revised the outlook on ratings to Positive from Stable, the agency said in a statement late on August 23.
“The outlook revision reflects continued financial improvement, recovery on the global iron ore and steel markets driven by supply-side reforms in China, and increased preference towards higher-grade iron ore products that the group produces. It also reflects stronger demand for steel and an improved product mix,” the agency said.
The ratio of the company’s funds from operations (FFO) to leverage decreased to 2.7x as of the end of 2017 from the peak of 3.8x a year earlier. Fitch expects the company to reduce the level of debt by the end of 2020.
“This will lead FFO adjusted gross leverage to fall below our upgrade guidance of 2.5x by end-2018 despite a projected moderation in iron ore and steel prices over the next three years,” the agency said. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)