Fitch ratings boost for Mumtalakat sukuk
Manama, October 2, 2012
Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company's three billion ringgit ($981 million) Malaysian sukuk murabahah programme has been assigned a BBB grade by Fitch Ratings agency.
The final rating is the same as the expected rating reflecting the completion of the issuance and receipt of final documents conforming to the information previously received by Fitch.
The sukuk murabahah programme's rating is in line with Mumtalakat's long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured rating.
Mumtalakat is wholly-owned by the government of Bahrain and was created to act as an independent holding company for the government's stakes in strategic non-oil and gas assets.
According to the terms outlining the transaction's structure, Mumtalakat will issue ringgit denominated sukuk of up to 3 billion ringgit or its equivalent in foreign currency which it will use for its Sharia-compliant general corporate purposes as source of capital and as part of its strategy for refinancing existing debt maturities in the coming years.
Mumtalakat's liabilities under the sukuk issuances will be governed by the laws of Malaysia, and Fitch believes that they would rank pari passu with Mumtalakat's other senior unsecured obligations.
Fitch's rating for the programme reflects its belief that Mumtalakat would stand behind its obligations given its important role in the government of Bahrain's investment strategies and related implications of any default for the Bahrain sovereign fund.
In accordance with its criteria, by assigning a rating to the programme, Fitch is not expressing an opinion as to whether the programme and or any sukuk issuance under the programme are compliant with Sharia principles.-TradeArabia News Service