Following its move to drop its sovereign credit rating for Colombia from stable to negative, Moody’s Investor Service has made a similar change to the outlooks of a number of Colombian banks, insurers, and other companies.
Included among those that the big three rating agency has put on a negative outlook are Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, Seguros Generales Suramericana (SGS), Seguros de Vida Suramericana S.A. (SVS), and Compañía Aseguradora de Fianzas S.A. Confianza (Confianza).
While the Colombian government maintains a willingness to support Bancolombia and Banco de Bogotá, “its capacity to provide support is reflected by its rating,” stated Moody’s.
While the New York-based agency noted that the Colombian government maintains a willingness to support Bancolombia and Banco de Bogotá, “its capacity to provide support is reflected by its rating,” stated Moody’s.
“The affected banks’ long-term deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of Baa2 are positioned at the same level of sovereign bond rating as Moody’s assesses a very high probability that the government will support them if needed,” added the agency. “This assessment considers the very large deposit franchises of the affected banks, which are the two largest in Colombia, with deposit market shares ranging of 12.9% (Banco de Bogota) and 23.2% (Bancolombia) as of September 2017.”
The outlooks for Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores S.A. and Grupo Aval Limited (the controlling companies tied to Banco de Bogotá) have been unaffected.
Regarding the insurers, Moody’s said in a statement that “the change to a negative outlook on SGS’ and SVS’ ratings addresses the likelihood that — were it to ultimately occur — a downgrade of Colombia’s sovereign bond rating could lead to a rating downgrade for SGS and SVS, primarily taking into account the correlation between the companies’ credit profiles and that of the Colombian sovereign, given their direct and indirect exposures to sovereign assets, and the fact that the insurers’ ratings are currently positioned at the sovereign rating level.”
Three infrastructure issuers also suffered the same outlook change to negative: Interconexion Electrica S.A. E.S.P. (which has a Baa2 rating, now with a negative outlook), Empresas Publicas de Medellín S.A. E.S.P. (Baa2, negative), and Enel Americas S.A. (Baa3, negative).
The fallout has not affected Ecopetrol S.A., however. Moody’s has maintained its Baa3 rating and stable outlook for state-controlled oil company
The Bogotá-based hydrocarbon giant highlighted the news, saying in a statement that the change for the nation’s outlook “had no effect on the company’s credit rating, as it anticipates continuously improving fundamental performance.”
Ecopetrol announced this week that it made a net profit of 6.6 trillion pesos in 2017, its best results since 2013 and more than four times its reported profit in 2016. In 2017, it also extended its reserve life to 7.1 years and hit output goals of 715,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a level it expects to at least match this year amid up to $4 billion USD in investment in exploration and production.