Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings PLC's (JKH) National Long-Term rating at 'AAA(lka)'. The Outlook is Stable.
The affirmation reflects JKH's resilience of dividend inflows to, and resultant low financial leverage (net debt/EBITDA excluding non-recurring items) at the holding company (HoldCo). This is in turn driven by the strong competitive positions of most of its key operating companies.
Fitch also noted that the risk of structural subordination of HoldCo creditors is low as JKH's key dividend-paying companies have minimal debt on their balance sheets.
"JKH's track record of maintaining a conservative capital structure at HoldCo by funding acquisitions and expansions largely via a combination of pre-issued equity and retained earnings provides added comfort to its rating" said Hasira De Silva, Assistant Vice President at Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd.
"The rating also reflects JKH's strong liquidity position, well-spread-out debt maturities, and its exceptionally strong access to local banks and capital markets" De Silva added.