Fitch Ratings in Thailand has affirmed refining and petrochemical company Thai Oil Public Company Limited's (TOP) national long-term rating at "AA-(tha)" with a stable outlook after the company announced its final investment decision on its clean-fuel project (CFP).
The agency has also affirmed TOP's national short-term rating at "F1+(tha)” and the national long-term rating on its senior unsecured debts at "AA-(tha)”.
The affirmation reflects TOP's continued strong business profile in the Thai refinery and petrochemical sector. Fitch expects TOP's financial leverage to increase temporarily during high investment periods in 2019-22, then to fall to a level commensurate with its rating after the CFP commences full operations in 2023.
The CFP investment is likely to improve TOP's business profile, increase its refining capacity and enhance its refining complexity and competitiveness.