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Apr 14, 2009
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Standard & Poor suspends Alrosa credit ratings

By
Reuters
Published
Apr 14, 2009

By Pavan Narayanan (Reuters) April 7 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has suspended its 'BB-' long-term and 'B' short-term corporate credit ratings on Russian diamond miner ALROSA Co. Ltd.



"We suspended the ratings because of a continuing lack of information from Alrosa on its financial and operating performance and prospects," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Andrey Nikolaev. "In particular, we are currently missing sufficient information on the company's sales volumes in the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009, and on the details of its agreement with state-owned Gokhran of Russia (selling prices, volumes, and duration of the agreement), to which the company is currently selling diamonds, according to press reports."

In order to reinstate the rating we also need further updates on Alrosa's current liquidity position and progress in refinancing its material short-term debt. The fact that Alrosa reports only semi-annually and with significant delays compared with international peers--and even with many Russian peers--exacerbates the lack of information.

"If Standard & Poor's Ratings Services doesn't receive the above-mentioned information within two months, we will consider withdrawing the ratings," said Mr. Nikolaev.

Standard & Poor's may suspend a rating, in rare circumstances, if there is an expectation that the rating is likely to be reinstated. The suspension does not imply that Alrosa is not servicing its obligations. Should sufficiently detailed information become available, Standard & Poor's will reconsider an appropriate rating.

((Bangalore Ratings Team, +91 80 4135 5937, [email protected], Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

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