Debt to equity ratio hits lowest level over entire corporate history
The Board of Directors took notice of the information regarding the consolidated debt load behavior throughout Gazprom Group.
The meeting highlighted that the Company was taking comprehensive efforts on the loan portfolio analysis and management, the consolidated debt load monitoring and forecasting. The positive trend in the basic debt ratios indicates the efficiency of the selected strategy.
For instance, it is expected that the overall debt/EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) ratio will be around 0.8 according to the 2011 results, which is 1.9 times lower as compared to 2009. Besides, as of October 1, 2011, EBITDA was 64.7 times higher than the interest expenses, while in late 2009 the difference had been 14.7 times.
Such a crucial debt indicator as the debt to equity ratio has shrunk to 19.4 per cent over the nine months of 2011. Now, it has hit the lowest level over the entire history of Gazprom. The identical figure of 2009 was 28.8 per cent.
Gazprom's current credit rating as well as the rating forecast from the three primary international rating agencies – Fitch Ratings, Moody's and Standard&Poors – corresponds to the sovereign one. Over the last six years, the credit rating has been at the investment level that enables the Company to maintain a low debt cost and expand its pool of investors. However, the debt ratios of Gazprom are better than the average figures of the companies in the developing markets and are at the same level as the debt ratios shown by the world's leading petroleum companies. According to the trusted rating agencies, Gazprom has the highest credit rating among Russian oil and gas companies.
The meeting participants noted that the policy for loan portfolio management being pursued by Gazprom had proven its efficiency.
The Company's further efforts in this area will be focused on maintaining the approach of attracting annual borrowings in the amount of RUB 90 billion until 2015.