Fitch Ratings Raises Outlook for Ecopetrol S.A. From Stable to Positive
October 19, 2010 at 18:11 PM EDT
BOGOTA, Colombia, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ecopetrol S.A. (NYSE: EC; BVC: ECOPETROL; BVL: EC; TSX: ECP) announced today that the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings published a report on October 15 in which it raised the company's rating outlook from Stable to Positive, maintaining the long-term foreign and local currency ratings at BB+ and BBB-, respectively.
According to the Fitch Ratings report, the improved outlook for Ecopetrol S.A. follows that of the Republic of Colombia, which also went from Stable to Positive.
As highlighted by the rating agency report, the Ecopetrol rating reflects a solid financial profile, increases in production and adequate levels of reserves. The company's growth strategy and capital investments are considered aggressive; nonetheless, the rating agency expects the company to maintain a financial profile and credit metrics consistent with the assigned rating while it implements its growth strategy. The rating also reflects the close link with the Republic of Colombia, which owns 89.9% of the company and appoints the majority of board members in accordance with established corporate governance practices.
The report is available at www.fitchratings.com
Ecopetrol is Colombia's largest integrated oil & gas company, where it accounts for 60% of total production. It is one of the top 40 oil companies in the world and the fourth largest oil company in Latin America. The Company is also involved in exploration and production activities in Brazil, Peru and the United States Gulf Coast, and owns the main refineries in Colombia, most of the network of oil and multiple purpose pipelines in the country, petrochemical plants, and it is entering into the biofuels business.
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to the prospects of the business, estimates for operating and financial results, and those related to growth prospects of Ecopetrol. These are merely projections and, as such, are based exclusively on the expectations of management concerning the future of the business and its continued access to capital to fund the Company's business plan. Such forward-looking statements depend, substantially, on changes in market conditions, government regulations, competitive pressures, the performance of the Colombian economy and the industry, among other factors; therefore, they are subject to change without prior notice.
SOURCE Ecopetrol S.A.