Russian Energy Giants’ Debt Ratings Cut Amid Ukraine Turmoil

Apr 28, 2014 1:45 pm ET

(Adds ratings downgrades in second paragraph.)

April 28 (Bloomberg) -- The credit ratings for some of Russia’s largest energy and transportation companies were cut by Standard & Poor’s as sanctions against the Russian government over the Ukraine conflict threaten an already-weakened economy.

Ratings for natural gas producer OAO Gazprom, oil explorer OAO Rosneft, pipeline operator OAO Transneft, power transmitter Federal Grid Co. and OAO Russian Railways and its JSC Federal Passenger subsidiary were lowered today, three days after the New York-based credit-rating service downgraded Russian Federation sovereign debt to its lowest investment grade.

“The negative outlooks on all these entities mirror the negative outlook on Russia,” S&P said in a statement today. “The credit ratings on these entities are directly influenced by the ratings on the sovereign, given their role and links with the state.”

The ratings for foreign currency-denominated debt were cut to BBB- from BBB for all six entities, S&P said. The Rosneft downgrade affected $10 billion in senior unsecured notes and $3 billion in loan participation notes.

Gazprom is Russia’s largest company by market value, followed by Rosneft, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Gazprom, Rosneft and Transneft are majority owned by the Russian government. Rosneft is led by Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin who was personally targeted by expanded U.S. trade sanctions today.