S&P revises outlook on Bahrain's Batelco to stable

Ratings action mirrors that on Gulf state 

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Bahrain. Modern buildings in Manama skyline.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Bahrain. Modern buildings in Manama skyline.

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S&P Global Ratings has revised the outlook on state-backed Bahrain Telecommunications Co. (Batelco) to “stable” from “negative” in view of improved economic prospects in the Gulf state. 

The ratings agency also affirmed its “B+/B” long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on the company, whose 77 percent stake is owned by the government. 

The revision follows a ratings action on Bahrain on November 26, when S&P said the country’s outlook had been revised to "stable" from "negative" on the back of new fiscal reforms that seek to boost non-oil revenues. 

“The stable outlook mirrors that on Bahrain, with any upside for Batelco dependent on a stronger sovereign rating,” the rating agency said. 

“Our rating on Bahrain drives our long-term rating on Batelco because we view Batelco as a government-related entity, with a very strong link with the government.” 

The Gulf state has recently announced plans to spend more than $30 billion in various strategic projects, create 20,000 jobs for its citizens and increase the value-added tax (VAT) to 10 percent. 

According to S&P, the reforms are expected to improve the sovereign’s fiscal position. 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Brinda Darasha) 

cleofe.maceda@lseg.com

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