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“We are gratified that PLDT is the first corporate in the country to obtain such ratings from the three major global credit watchers – S&P, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings,” said PLDT President Napoleon Nazareno.
S&P raised on Thursday PLDT’s long–term foreign currency credit rating to Investment Grade at ‘BBB’- from ‘BB+’ previously, following the recent Philippine sovereign credit rating upgrade.
S&P said the outlook on the PLDT rating is “stable”. The credit watcher also reported that the ASEAN scale long-term rating on PLDT has also been raised to ‘aXA-‘ from ‘axBBB+’.
Last May, Moody’s improved its outlook on PLDT’s ratings to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ with the foreign currency bond and local currency issuer ratings at ‘Baa3’ which is considered ‘Investment grade’.
Fitch, on the other hand, affirmed in November 2011 PLDT’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at ‘BBB-‘ and ‘A-‘, respectively. The ratings of Moody’s and Fitch are also considered ‘investment grade’.
“We are pleased with the recent credit rating action by S&P. The overall financial strength and competitive advantage of PLDT are reflected in the distinction of being the only Philippine company whose debt ratings are similarly regarded as investment grade by all three international rating agencies. This also affirms the soundness of our business strategy to transform PLDT into a multi-media services group which has placed the company in the best possible position to enhance its leadership position far into the future,” said PLDT Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan.
S&P credit analyst Paul Draffin took note of “PLDT’s strong position in the domestic market, diversified services, integrated network, and solid cash flow measures”, saying these mitigate “the country and macroeconomic risk of the Philippines and intense competition in the matured domestic cellular market.”
PLDT remains the leading player in the local telecoms sector with 68% of the cellular market, 64% of the broadband market, and 65% of the fixed line business.
The company earlier announced plans to expand into multi-media services through an investment in MediaQuest Holdings, owner of direct-to-home Pay-TV operator Cignal TV and television network TV5, through its wholly-owned subsidiary ePLDT.
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