Monday 22 April 2024
 
»
 
»
Story

GCC infrastructure firms to hold up against 2024 refinancing needs: S&P

DUBAI, March 4, 2024

Most corporate and infrastructure firms in the GCC region benefit from broadly supportive credit conditions in their domestic markets. This is despite soft global economic growth, high interest rates, and considerable geopolitical risks in the Middle East, according to top ratings agency S&P Global. 
 
The growth in both ebitda and capital expenditure (capex) overall will continue, largely reflecting rated companies' ambitious economic development plans. Their credit metrics should therefore either remain broadly unchanged, or improve marginally, stated S&P Global Ratings in its latest report, 'GCC Corporate And Infrastructure Outlook 2024: Holding Up Against Refinancing Needs.' 
 
"Most GCC corporate and infrastructure ratings should remain resilient to the soft global economic growth and high interest rates in 2024, said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Rawan Oueidat.
 
"We expect continued growth in both ebitda and capital expenditure overall, largely reflecting rated companies' ambitious economic development plans. Their credit metrics should therefore either remain broadly unchanged, or improve marginally," observed Oueidat.
 
"We believe that refinancing risk is largely manageable for our rated portfolio, since 75%-80% of the debt maturing in 2024 sits at highly rated government-related entities (GREs). In addition, the level of absolute reported debt across GRE and non-GRE issuers in the region is relatively stable. Aggregate reported debt hardly changes under our base-case scenario in 2024 and 2025, despite sizable spending needs," she stated.
 
"We expect oil, gas, and chemicals companies' earnings to rebound in 2024," noted Oueidat. 
 
"We estimate that non-oil sector earnings will grow by about 7% this year, compared with 15% in 2023," stated another analyst Tatjana Lescova.
 
Analyst Sofia Bensaid said: "In infrastructure, we anticipate an acceleration in the implementation of various decarbonization initiatives following COP28, alongside issuers' progressive return to the capital markets for debt refinancing." 
 
"We expect GCC infrastructure assets to remain resilient to market risk over 2024, as they often have long-term concessions that fully mitigate this risk," she stated.
 
Analyst Sapna Jagtiani said: "More than 95% of our outlooks on rated GCC corporate and infrastructure firms are stable, attesting to our view that ratings will remain resilient in 2024. However, this also means that we will see limited rating upside this year." 
 
"Rating pressure could arise for companies operating in cyclical sectors and making large investments if this leads their leverage metrics to increase. High geopolitical risk in the region poses a risk to companies that depend on investor confidence," she added.-TradeArabia News Service



Tags:

More Construction & Real Estate Stories

calendarCalendar of Events

Ads