ADNOC gets AA+ standalone credit rating from Fitch

ADNOC gets AA+ standalone credit rating from Fitch
Published: 20 February 2019 - 5 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

ADNOC announced that Fitch Ratings has assigned ADNOC Group a standalone credit rating of AA+.

The rating, according to Fitch, highlights the company’s high upstream output and significant reserves, strong profitability, commercially-focused business model, downstream integration and conservative financial profile. The rating, Fitch said, sits at the upper boundary of the agency’s rating spectrum for all oil and gas companies.

Fitch also assigned a long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of AA with a stable outlook to ADNOC, in line with the sovereign rating of Abu Dhabi, reflecting Fitch’s assessment of the strong linkages between ADNOC and the Abu Dhabi government.

Both the standalone and long-term IDR rating are the highest ratings currently assigned by Fitch for any oil and gas company, globally.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC group CEO, said: “Today’s announcement by Fitch, one of the leading, global credit rating agencies, recognises ADNOC’s world-class resources, our strong operating and financial performance, our robust financial profile and our disciplined investment model. These best-in-sector ratings also reflect our more open and flexible approach to strategic partnerships and the more efficient and active management of our capital and assets and validate the bold ambitions we have set for ADNOC under our progressive 2030 Strategy.”

“These ratings further enhance transparency for all our stakeholders, including our shareholder, partners, investors, lenders and employees as we seek to more proactively manage our resources, assets and capital to unlock greater value from every hydrocarbon molecule we produce.These high ratings are a testament to ADNOC’s transformation, under the wise guidance of the UAE’s leadership, and the hard work and dedication of our employees who have contributed to the sustained growth of ADNOC since its establishment.”

The new Fitch ratings validate ADNOC’s 2030 smart growth strategy, underpinned by an unwavering commercial focus and performance-led culture. Over the last three years, ADNOC’s progressive evolution has been punctuated by a number of significant milestones.

The company has consolidated its businesses and unified its brand identity; entered the global capital markets for the first time; completed the first ever IPO of an ADNOC business; opened up its concessions to new strategic partners; competitively tendered new exploration blocks for the first time in Abu Dhabi’s history; launched the UAE’s unconventional industry; embarked on an ambitious gas strategy aimed first at self-sufficiency and then transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas; launched a major $45bn expansion to its downstream operations; undertaken a comprehensive digital transformation; and taken its first steps to expand internationally.

Guided, by the strategic pillars of people, performance, profitability and efficiency, ADNOC is creating a dynamic corporate culture that optimises resources, maximises value and incubates talent. In 2018, ADNOC achieved its 3.5 million bpd production capacity target, and last month was named the most valuable brand in the Middle East.

ADNOC undertook this ratings exercise as part of its new approach to expand its partner and investor universe, as well as more actively manage its assets and capital. Over the last few years, ADNOC has broadened its range and type of partners beyond traditional energy and petrochemical companies to also include new partners and investors from across the global financial and investment community.

While ADNOC has no plans to issue a bond at the group holding level, these credit ratings will enable greater access to a more international investor base and provide ADNOC with further smart financing options.

ADNOC was advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup during the credit rating process.

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