FINANCIAL NEWS

Saudi Electricity plans USD11.7b investment

16 Mar 2012

(MENAFN) A report, issued by Fitch Ratings, expected Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to invest USD11.7 billion annually over the next five years, Emirates247 reported.

The report said that the utilities giant company spent approximately USD8 billion annually in capital expenditure over the past three year.

Fitch affirmed SEC Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating at ‘AA-‘, with the outlook stable. Fitch has also affirmed SEC’s three Sukuk issues at ‘AA-‘.

Fitch anticipates that the massive capital spending programme will put pressure on credit metrics and it will be critical for the financial viability of the company and its ratings to receive ongoing state aid, especially since the current electricity tariff structure for residential and certain other customers is heavily subsidized.

The Stable Outlook reflects SEC’s strong liquidity. SEC had approximately USD6.9 billion in total liquidity, including USD1.9 billion in cash, with most of the remainder comprising headroom under existing government and commercial facilities.

This compares well with around USD2.2 billion in debt maturities in 2012, including USD1.33 billion in Sukuks.

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