EconomyNext – Fitch Ratings has assigned SriLankan Airlines Limited’s (SLA) US dollar-denominated government-guaranteed bonds a final rating of ‘BB-‘.
The final rating is the same as the expected rating assigned on 17 June 2014, and follows the receipt of documents conforming to information already received, a statement said.
The bonds are rated at the same level as SLA’s parent, the government of Sri Lanka, due to the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee provided by the government, the rating agency said.
The government directly holds 95 percent and indirectly holds four percent of the national airline, through state-owned entities.
The proceeds of the issuance were for the acquisition of aircraft and working capital.
Fitch said SLA has a 55 percent market share of total passenger volume to and from the island.
Passenger numbers have increased to 4.2 million in 2014 from 2.6 million in 2010.
"The Sri Lankan tourism sector is undergoing growth and is being aided by the government’s policy to transform the country into a strategic economic centre through the development of, amongst other things, tourism," Fitch said.
"As the leading airline in Sri Lanka, the company is well positioned to capture the benefits of this policy."