International ratings agency Fitch Ratings affirmed the Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) A investment grade rating with a stable outlook , for its long-term issues default and senior unsecured notes, for the second year.
“The ratings reflect an underlying asset that is critical not only for Panama, but for international commerce, as demonstrated by its stable volume performance and competitive position, which has proven to be largely resilient to economic downturns,” the rating agency said in a report.
This rating yet again confirms the Canal’s financial and competitive strength, according to Panama Canal’s Executive Vice President of Finance, Francisco Miguez.
Factoring into its decision, Fitch Ratings cited the connectivity that the Canal offers to world maritime trade and the value it adds as the region’s main transshipment hub. They continued, noting that “the Expansion provides interoceanic passage for Neopanamax vessels, further diversifying revenue sources.”
The agency also considered that the ACP’s constitutional and legal framework supports operational autonomy, which was found to adequately mitigate the risk of external interference, and acknowledged the “ACP’s long track record of managing profitable operations through different administrations.”
Fitch Ratings indicated that it expects the ACP will continue to maintain high margins, solid liquidity, modest working capital requirements and low financial leverage.