Financing Options for Winning BiddersWed, 01/20/2016 - 09:20
It has been suggested that the contracts negotiated for Round One are more beneficial for the government than the companies. For Rosa María Morales Cid, Senior Analyst Oil and Gas Latin America of Moody’s, the situation is slightly more complex than this. “When R1-L01 was carried out, the prices were elevated, there were certain expectations, and I believe the authorities had prepared the rounds in a different context,” she explains.
The ratings agency’s Director General, Alberto Tamayo, shares that there has not been a great deal of demand for rating services from Round One winners just yet. “I think that, at this stage, new entrants already have their funding in place and want to establish their operations and become stable for a few years before considering any bond activity,” he states. “This applies unless the company desires to put together a structured transaction, but in this environment, the typical way to do so would be to use the asset backing from long-term contracts and receivables to issue a bond with an SPB or a trust.” However, he surmises that it would be impossible to open an asset-backed trust using PEMEX receivables as collateral, because the credit rating of PEMEX may deteriorate further. Secondly, this approach would not provide companies with an enhancement in terms of credit ratings, and the prudent approach may be to take time to become established in the country. This also depends on the off-taker, because selling natural gas to PEMEX would differ in terms of ratings than if it was sold to CFE, whose rating is Baa1 with a negative outlook. “However,” he concedes, “in the international markets, the spreads may not be as favorable as they were one year ago due to volatility and depreciation of emerging market currencies. Companies in this industry are probably currently referring more to the banking industry or using their own capital.”