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Fitch steadies OMV outlook.

(SeeNews) - Jul 22, 2011 - Fitch changed on Friday to "stable" from "negative" the outlook on Austrian oil group OMV AG (WBAG:OMV) while affirming its long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) of A- and senior unsecured rating of A-.

At the same time, the agency upheld the BBB rating on the company's EUR 750 million (USD 1bn) perpetual subordinated fixed to floating rate notes, as well as the senior unsecured rating of A- of its unit OMV Finance Ltd.

The revised outlook mirrors the company's successful measures to bolster its balance sheet after two acquisitions in Turkey and Tunisia initially financed with debt, the service specified. The outlook assumes that OMV's credit ratios will be kept at moderate levels, including a consolidated lease-adjusted net debt to EBITDAR below 1.8x on a sustained basis.

The ratings reflect OMV's adequate financial policy and solid liquidity, but do not incorporate any direct support from the Austrian state, which owns a 31.5% stake in the company through Osterreichische Industrieholding. They are further underpinned by the strategic importance of its oil and gas deliveries in Austria and Romania, as well as favourable taxation, licensing and regulatory environments in these two major operating markets.

Meanwhile, the uncertain situation in Libya and heightened business risk in North Africa reduces rating headroom for any new takeovers, Fitch noted.

Rating agency website: www.fitchratings.com
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Publication:ADP News Austria
Date:Jul 22, 2011
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