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Fitch reaffirms A rating for debt and bonds of the Panama Canal

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Fitch reaffirms A rating for debt and bonds of the Panama Canal

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 16:15

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The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported today that the rating agency Fitch Ratings reaffirmed for the third year the "A" rating, with a stable outlook, for long-term debt and the interoceanic route bonds.

Fitch "highlights the stable performance in terms of volume (load), solid competitive position and well-diversified cargo mix of the Canal, which makes the profile of the ACP exhibit high levels of resilience," the Administration said in a public statement this Wednesday.

The rating agency also "highlights the strategic role of the Canal in international trade flow due to its ability to offer connectivity to global maritime trade, adding value as the main transshipment center in the region," according to official information.

Fitch Ratings notes the ACP's "extraordinary legal framework," which contributes to its institutional, operational and financial autonomy, "as well as its expectation that" the Canal will continue to be administered under the same legal framework, which adequately mitigates the risk of any external interference".

The agency mentions the "strategic importance of global maritime transport, the extraordinary legal framework and the existence of appropriate incentives to keep the asset profitable in the long term," the ACP reported.

The administration of the interoceanic route, where about 6 percent of world trade passes, recalled that in July the rating agency "Standard & Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings improved from 'stable' to 'positive' the outlook of the Panama Canal and reaffirmed the 'A-'rating, (investment grade) maintaining it, again, two steps above the rating of the sovereign."

The Canal joins more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports in 160 different countries.

It implemented in June 2016 its first expansion, a monumental work with a cost of at least 5,600 million dollars, consisting of a new lane to make way for the Neopanamax, ships with up to triple the load capacity of those who pass by the locks in operation since 1914.



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