The Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and its USD 450 million senior unsecured notes have been both rated at ‘A’ by international ratings agency Fitch Ratings, “reflecting the ACP’s solid revenue profile and low leverage levels,” according to the authority.
Fitch Ratings said that the rating outlook is stable, noting the Panama Canal’s resilience to economic downturns, diversified revenue sources, a robust toll structure, and solid competitive position, supported by revenues resulting from the opening of the Expanded Canal, as the ratings drivers.
Additionally, the credit rating agency said that the ACP “compares favorably with other rated larger intermodal transportation entities,” adding that the ACP has a comfortable liquidity headroom, which is sufficient to meet upcoming debt payments.
The ratings come just over two months after the inauguration of the Expanded Panama Canal.
Since then, more than 160 vessels have transited the Expanded Canal, including container ships, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, vehicle carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, a new market segment for the Canal.
“The significant demand shown by the maritime industry reinforces the need for the Expansion, its potential and the benefits it brings to global commerce,” the ACP said.