Thu, 22 Oct 2020

SINGAPORE, October 9 (ANI): Fitch Ratings has affirmed Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd's (HPCL's) long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at BBB-minus with a negative outlook.

It has also affirmed HPCL's senior unsecured rating and the ratings on its outstanding senior unsecured debt at BBB-minus.

Fitch said it aligns HPCL's issuer default rating and outlook with the credit profile of its largest shareholder Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC).

"We maintain HPCL's standalone credit profile at 'bb' as we expect net leverage to improve to levels commensurate with standalone credit profile from financial year ending March 2023 (FY23) after deteriorating in FY21 to FY22 to levels where we would consider revising the standalone credit profile downwards."

Fitch said its rating case incorporates weak petroleum product demand and narrow gross refining margins in the near term followed by a gradual recovery.

It also considered HPCL's strong marketing margins, reflecting the company's ability to benefit from low oil prices in its marketing segment without a full cost pass-through to consumers and to raise prices.

"However, the improvement in leverage is subject to risks of weak industry conditions persisting beyond our baseline scenario, or capex or shareholder returns that are higher-than-expected, which limits the headroom for its standalone credit profile," said Fitch. (ANI)

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