Fri, Sep 24, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Fitch Ratings offers CPC bonds credit rating of ‘AAA(twn)’

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fitch Ratings Ltd yesterday offered an “AAA(twn)” credit rating on CPC Corp, Taiwan’s (CPC, 台灣中油) NT$16 billion (US$506 million) corporate bonds, which the refiner sold earlier this month to boost its working capital.

The “AAA” rating by Fitch is the rating agency’s highest investment grade.

“The proposed guaranteed corporate bond will be used to fund CPC’s 2010 capex program, while improving the company’s debt maturity profile,” Fitch’s Asia-Pacific energy and utilities team director Simon Wong (王智健) said in a statement yesterday.

The sale of NT$16 billion in bonds — which comprises NT$2.7 billion in five-year bonds, NT$5.9 billion in seven-year bonds and NT$7.4 billion in 10-year bonds — on Sept. 3 was CPC’s first this year. The refiner sold NT$10.82 billion in bonds last year.

CPC will pay an annual coupon rate of 1.08 percent for the five-year bonds, 1.29 percent for the seven-year bonds and 1.43 percent for the 10-year debt.

That compared with Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電) bond sale of NT$11.85 billion on Aug. 10, under which the state-owned utility will pay an annual interest of 1.47 percent for the seven-year bonds and 1.64 percent for the 10-year debt, indicating that a still-high demand for such bonds by investors has continued to push issuers’ funding costs lower.

So far this year, Taipower has sold NT$72.2 billion in bonds to support its capital requirements. It issued NT$58.62 billion in bonds last year.

Taiwan Ratings Corp (中華信評) on Aug. 18 rated the Taipower bonds “twAAA” grade with a stable outlook.

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