Fitch revises Aramco’s outlook to negative after similar move on sovereign

Fitch revises Aramco’s outlook to negative after similar move on sovereign

On Monday, Fitch revised its outlook on Saudi Arabia to negative from stable, citing weakening fiscal and external balance sheets, but maintained its core ‘A’ rating

DUBAI: Ratings agency Fitch on Tuesday revised its outlook on Saudi Aramco to negative from stable, a day after similar action on the sovereign, which has a controlling stake in the oil giant.

On Monday, Fitch revised its outlook on Saudi Arabia to negative from stable, citing weakening fiscal and external balance sheets, but maintained its core ‘A’ rating.

Fitch also affirmed Aramco’s long-term issuer default rating at ‘A’, but said the company’s rating is constrained by its close links with the sovereign. “This reflects the influence the state exerts on the company through strategic direction, taxation and dividends, as well as regulating the level of production in line with OPEC commitments,” it said. Saudi Arabia has agreed with other OPEC countries and their allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, to make significant production cuts in 2020-2022 to re-balance the market.

Fitch expects Aramco’s liquids production to fall by about 7% year-on-year in 2020, but will rebound gradually in 2021-2022.

However, the company will benefit from stabilised oil prices, it said.

Aramco earlier this month reported a 44.6% drop in third-quarter net profit as the coronavirus crisis continued to choke demand and weigh on crude prices.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/fitch-revises-aramcos-outlook-to-negative-after-similar-move-on-sovereign/79162687

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