In Uzbekistan, JSC Uzbekhydroenergo, the country’s state hydropower producer and developer, has successfully secured an international credit rating from Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”).
Fitch has assigned Uzbekhydroenergo a ‘Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating’ of ‘B+’ with a ‘Stable Outlook’.
This is Uzbekhydroenergo’s inaugural, international credit rating and the company is among the first state enterprises in Uzbekistan to be awarded one. This is a significant achievement for the country’s hydropower industry.
Uzbekhydroenergo had previously announced its intention to list Eurobonds on the London Stock Exchange in the near future, and this rating is a major milestone in that process.
The new rating will also support Uzbekhydroenergo’s long-term sustainability and help attract foreign direct investment, without government guarantees, to the company’s investment projects.
Abdugani Sanginov, chairman of the board of JSC Uzbekhydroenergo, said: “This is a very proud moment for Uzbekhydroenergo, Uzbekistan’s energy sector, and our nation. To be one of the first state enterprises in Uzbekistan to achieve an international credit rating is a very proud moment. I extend my special thanks to all our staff whose selfless efforts made this happen.
“This rating sends a clear signal to international investors that we are open for business, committed to transparent financial reporting and also strong corporate governance. We will also work to improve our rating further.”
The rating follows Fitch closely studying Uzbekhyroenergo’s financial position, corporate governance, business strategy, and internal processes.
The work with Fitch is part of an overall roadmap for the company including:
- A transition to financial statements based on IFRS, for the Company/its subsidiaries;
- A valuation of the Company’s properties and enterprises by Grant Thornton;
- An audit of the Company/its subsidiaries’ financial statements by Big Four global accountancy firm, PwC.
The transition to IFRS will enable timely implementation of investment projects to construct new hydropower plants, and modernise existing ones, as part of the ‘Project Factory’ initiative. This initiative incorporates over 22 investment projects and a projected capacity of 885.6MW, worth $1.4 billion, and is already underway.
By the end of 2020, it is expected six projects, with an additional capacity of 118.3MW, will have been commissioned.