RAM reaffirms AA1 rating on Sarawak Energy sukuk

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AA1 long-term rating on Sarawak Energy Bhd’s Sukuk Musyarakah Programme of up to RM15 billion (2011/2036), with a stable outlook.

The rating reflected Sarawak Energy’s strategic role as the state’s electricity provider and a key facilitator of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

“The rating is, however, moderated by the group’s weak balance sheet and debt-servicing ability.

“In line with the group’s hefty debt-funded capital expenditure programme to fulfill SCORE’s ambitions, the group’s debt load broadened to RM6.28 billion as at end-2012 (end-2011: RM3.95 billion),” it said in a statement.

Consequently, RAM said Sarawak Enegry’s adjusted gearing ratio came in at an aggressive 3.7 times while its adjusted fund from operations debt coverage was weak at 0.06 times as at end-2012.

In the near to medium-term, its balance sheet and cashflow coverage are envisaged to remain at around this level, it added.

Sarawak Energy is a vertically-integrated electricity provider with a monopoly over the transmission and distribution of electricity while owning 57 per cent of the current generating capacity in Sarawak.

It is wholly-owned by the Sarawak state government. – Bernama

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