• Psalm, Napocor outlooks get Moody’s upgrade

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    International debt watcher Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its ratings for the country’s energy pillars, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) and National Power Corp. (Napocor).

    In separate statements, it was mentioned that Moody’s upgraded to “Baa3” from “Ba1” the senior unsecured bond rating of Psalm, while it upgraded to “Baa3” from “Ba1” the senior unsecured rating of Napocor.

    Moody’s has also assigned Psalm a “Baa3” issuer rating and has withdrawn its “Ba1” corporate family rating. The ratings outlook is positive.

    The ratings upgrade to the two energy agencies follow Moody’s decision on Thursday to upgrade the Philippine government’s long-term foreign-currency and local-currency ratings to “Baa3” with a positive outlook.

    “Psalm’s ratings are underpinned by its distinct policy role and its close integration with the government,” said Mic Kang, a Moody’s vice president and senior analyst.

    “The government has provided unconditional and irrevocable guarantees for debt issued by Psalm and transferred from National Power Corp.,” Kang added.

    Napocor, whose senior unsecured rating was also upgraded to “Baa3” with a positive outlook as a result of the sovereign rating upgrade, has transferred to Psalm more than 99 percent of its rated US dollar bonds, including $300 million due in 2028 and $160 million due in 2016.

    Kang said that the “Baa3” senior unsecured bond rating given to Napocor reflects the Philippine government’s “unconditional and irrevocable guarantee for Napocor’s rated long-term bonds.”

    Napocor is wholly owned by the government. It primarily operates and manages the power facilities that have been transferred to Psalm.

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