Panama City, Panama, September 7, 2016 – Fitch Ratings has affirmed the following ratings for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP): Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A’ and $450 million senior unsecured notes at ‘A’, reflecting the ACP’s solid revenue profile and low leverage levels.
Fitch Ratings highlighted that the Panama Canal provides unique connectivity and time savings for world maritime trade. In addition, Fitch Ratings stated that the rating outlook is stable, noting the following ratings drivers: the Panama Canal’s resilience to economic downturns, diversified revenue sources, a robust toll structure, and solid competitive position, supported by revenues resulting from the opening of the Expanded Canal.
The credit rating agency noted that the ACP compares favorably with other rated larger intermodal transportation entities, adding that the ACP has a comfortable liquidity headroom, which is sufficient to meet upcoming debt payments.
The ratings come just over two months after the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal. Since then, more than 160 vessels have transited the Expanded Canal, including container ships, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, vehicle carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, a new market segment for the Canal. The significant demand shown by the maritime industry reinforces the need for the Expansion, its potential and the benefits it brings to global commerce.
Just last month, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings affirmed its ‘A-‘ long-term corporate credit and debt ratings of the ACP, reiterating the credit rating agency’s trust in the management, operation and investments of the Panama Canal.
About the Panama Canal Authority
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.
About the Panama Canal Expansion
The Panama Canal Expansion is the largest enhancement project since the Canal’s opening in 1914. Considered and analyzed for a decade with more than 100 studies, the Expansion provides the world’s shippers, retailers, manufacturers and consumers with greater shipping options, better maritime service, enhanced logistics and supply-chain reliability. The Expansion included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the waterway, creating a third lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway. While the Expanded locks are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit. In line with its commitment to customer service, the Panama Canal will continue to provide the world with value for another century and beyond.