Panama City, Panama, August 29, 2018 – For the third year, Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) ‘A’ investment grade rating with a stable outlook for its long-term issuer default rating and its senior unsecured notes.
The credit rating agency highlighted the Canal’s “stable volume performance, solid competitive position, and well-diversified cargo mix, causing [the] ACP’s volume profile to exhibit high levels of resilience.” In addition, the report noted the Canal’s strategic role in global trade flows due to its ability to offer connectivity to world maritime trade, adding value as the main transshipment hub in the region.
“We are pleased that Fitch Ratings has confirmed the Canal’s financial and competitive strength for a third year in a row,” said Panama Canal’s Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, Francisco J. Miguez. “This is the direct result of our hard work and commitment to maintaining profitable operations, while providing customers with reliable, consistent service.”
Also factoring into its decision, Fitch Ratings cited the waterway’s “strategic importance to world commerce, extraordinary legal framework, and existence of appropriate incentives to keep the asset profitable over the long-run.”
Just last month, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings improved the Canal’s outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘positive,’ which further demonstrated its promising global impact. The agency also affirmed its ‘A-‘ rating of the waterway, ranking the Canal two notches above that of the sovereign foreign currency.
Fitch Ratings highlighted ACP’s “extraordinary legal framework,” contributing to institutional, operational and financial autonomy, as well as sustained profitable operations across administrations.
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 Expanded Canal 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.