The international rating agency Moody's assigned PJSC “MTS (MCX: MTSS)” a long-term credit rating of the issuer “Baa3”, referring to the investment category. The rating forecast is “stable”, the agency said in a statement.
At the same time, Moody's withdrew the corporate rating of MTS “Ba1” and the rating of probability of default “Ba1-PD”.
In addition, Moody's upgraded MTS International Funding Limited's $ 500mn senior unsecured bond issue to Baa3 from Ba1.
“We have assigned MTS an investment grade rating due to our expectation that the company will be able to maintain strong operating and financial performance, pursue a balanced financial policy, adequately balance capital expenditures and payments to shareholders, and maintain high liquidity,” said the junior vice president and analyst Moody's Mikhail Shipilov.
The MTS rating also takes into account the company's strong business profile, reflecting its leading position in the Russian telecommunications market, strong operating performance and the development of additional business areas, including digital services, media and financial services, the agency said in a press release.