Rating Action: Moody's upgrades the national scale issuer rating of the Municipality of Ramos Arizpe to A3.mx from Baa1.mx
Global Credit Research - 15 Jul 2020
Mexico, July 15, 2020 -- Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V. ("Moody's") upgraded the Mexican national scale issuer rating of the Municipality of Ramos Arizpe to A3.mx from Baa1.mx. Moody's also affirmed Ramos Arizpe's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and global scale issuer rating of ba3 and Ba3. The outlook is stable.
RATIONALE FOR THE NSR ISSUER RATING UPGRADE
The upgrade of the Mexican national scale issuer rating reflects sustained improvements in recent years in the municipality's cash financing, operating balances' and in its liquidity, as well as expectations that it is relatively well positioned to weather the economic recession in 2020 caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the last two years both Ramos Arizpe's gross operating balance (GOB) and cash financing balance have steadily improved, rising to 25.9% of operating revenues and 12.8% of total revenues in 2019, respectively, positioning its results above its Ba3 Mexican peers. These results were driven mainly through strong expenditure controls in conjunction with a grew in the revenues. Between 2017 and 2019 expenses registered a compound annual growth rate (cagr) of -3.9% while revenues had a 10% cagr. Cash financing surpluses supported a modest rise in liquidity, with the municipality's ratio of cash to current liabilities increasing to 0.63 times (x) in 2019 from 0.43x in 2018. Though, even at these improved levels, the municipality's liquidity position remains relatively tight, risks are somewhat contained by the fact that the municipality doesn't rely on short-term debt and has no intention to acquire short term financing in 2020-21.
Moody's expects the economic crisis in 2020 will have only a moderate impact on Ramos Arizpe's fiscal accounts. The local economy is primarily focused on the automotive industry, which has been deemed an essential industry in Mexico, and Ramos Arizpe was therefore one of the first municipalities in Mexico to reopen its economy. Moody's therefore expects that Ramos Arizpe could see faster recovery compared to other municipalities, even while maintaining spending controls. Given these trends, Moody's estimates that in 2020-21 Ramos Arizpe will continue to post gross operating surpluses (on average equivalent to 10.4%), as well as lower but balanced cash financing results that in turn would result in a cash to current liabilities ratio of 0.53x, in line with other Ba3 Mexican rated peers.
RATIONALE FOR THE BCA AND GSR ISSUER RATING AFFIRMATION
The affirmation of Ramos Arizpe's Ba3 rating reflects the municipality's very low debt levels, high own source revenues collection and the absence of material contingent liabilities.
Ramos Arizpe's net direct and indirect debt is on a declining trend and fell to a low 3.7% of its operating revenues in 2019. Given that the municipality has no plans to acquire short- or long-term debt Moody's expects that this ratio will continue to decrease to a very low 2.3% of operating revenues by the end of 2021. In terms of own source revenues collection, Ramos Arizpe continues to maintain very strong collections, which in 2019 were equivalent to 55% of operating revenues, above other Ba3 Mexican rated peers (33.8%). For 2020-21 we expect a moderate reduction in this ratio to an average of 50.2%, a level that would still exceed the Ba3 median.
RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK
The stable outlook of Ramos Arizpe's ratings reflects the forecast that the municipality's debt burden will continue to decrease. The stable outlook also reflects Moody's expectation that the municipality will record lower but balanced financial margins and positive operating balances, despite the expectations of lower federal transfers for the Mexican regional and local governments in 2020.
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, GOVERNANCE CONSIDERATIONS
In Moody's assessment, environmental and social considerations are not material to the ratings. Governance considerations are material to Ramos Arizpe's ratings. Governance and management is considered average and similar to other Mexican peers, reflects relatively poor transparency, as evidenced by delays in the publishing of financial statements.
FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS
If the municipality maintains sustained positive financial balances and a strengthening of its liquidity position, while continue to post operating surpluses, the ratings could face upward pressure. On the other hand, if the liquidity and the cash financing balances significantly deteriorate, then Ramos Arizpe's ratings would face downward pressure.
The principal methodology used in these ratings was Regional and Local Governments published in January 2018 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1091595. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com.mx for a copy of this methodology.
The period of time covered in the financial information used to determine Municipality of Ramos Arizpe's rating is between 01/01/2015 and 12/31/2019 (source: Municipality of Ramos Arizpe financial statements).
Moody's National Scale Credit Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale credit ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale credit ratings, please refer to Moody's Credit rating Methodology published in May 2016 entitled "Mapping National Scale Ratings from Global Scale Ratings". While NSRs have no inherent absolute meaning in terms of default risk or expected loss, a historical probability of default consistent with a given NSR can be inferred from the GSR to which it maps back at that particular point in time. For information on the historical default rates associated with different global scale rating categories over different investment horizons, please see https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1216309.
For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.
Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's information.
The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity prior to public dissemination.
A general listing of the sources of information used in the rating process, and the structure and voting process for the rating committees responsible for the assignment and monitoring of ratings can be found in the Disclosure tab in www.moodys.com.mx.
The date of the last Credit Rating Action was 21/04/2020.
For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.mx.
For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.
This credit rating is subject to upgrade or downgrade based on future changes in the financial condition of the Issuer/Security, and said modifications will be made without Moody's de México S.A. de C.V accepting any liability as a result.
Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.
Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.
Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.
Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.
Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on www.moodys.com.mx for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.
Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see our website www.moodys.com.mx for further information.
Please see www.moodys.com.mx for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.
The ratings issued by Moody's de Mexico are opinions regarding the credit quality of securities and/or their issuers and not a recommendation to invest in any such security and/or issuer.
Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.
Nuvia Martinez Reyes Analyst Sub-Sovereign Group Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V Ave. Paseo de las Palmas No. 405 - 502 Col. Lomas de Chapultepec Mexico, DF 11000 Mexico JOURNALISTS: 1 888 779 5833 Client Service: 1 212 553 1653 Yves Lemay MD-Sovereign/Sub Sovereign Sub-Sovereign Group JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454 Releasing Office: Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V Ave. Paseo de las Palmas No. 405 - 502 Col. Lomas de Chapultepec Mexico, DF 11000 Mexico JOURNALISTS: 1 888 779 5833 Client Service: 1 212 553 1653
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND/OR ITS CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S (COLLECTIVELY, "PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE SUCH CURRENT OPINIONS. MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY'S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE CREDIT RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS, NON-CREDIT ASSESSMENTS ("ASSESSMENTS"), AND OTHER OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ANALYTICS, INC. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLISHES ITS PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.
MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS,ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS, AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS AND IT WOULD BE RECKLESS AND INAPPROPRIATE FOR RETAIL INVESTORS TO USE MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS OR PUBLICATIONS WHEN MAKING AN INVESTMENT DECISION. IF IN DOUBT YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISER.
ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED, DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.
MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS,ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY ANY PERSON AS A BENCHMARK AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED FOR REGULATORY PURPOSES AND MUST NOT BE USED IN ANY WAY THAT COULD RESULT IN THEM BEING CONSIDERED A BENCHMARK.
All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY'S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process or in preparing its Publications.
To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability to any person or entity for any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information, even if MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers is advised in advance of the possibility of such losses or damages, including but not limited to: (a) any loss of present or prospective profits or (b) any loss or damage arising where the relevant financial instrument is not the subject of a particular credit rating assigned by MOODY'S.
To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.
NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY CREDIT RATING, ASSESSMENT, OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.
Moody's Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to Moody's Investors Service, Inc. for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and Moody's investors Service also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of Moody's Investors Service credit ratings and credit rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."
Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody's Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY'S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.
Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody's SF Japan K.K. ("MSFJ") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO"). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.
MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.
MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.