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Fitch confirme à GuarantCo la note IFS de ‘AA-‘, perspective stable

Fitch Ratings-Francfort/Londres-08 mai 2019 : Fitch Ratings a confirmé à GuarantCo Ltd la notation de la force financière des assureurs (IFS - Insurer Financial Strength) de « AA- » (haute qualité). Perspective stable.

FACTEURS DE NOTATION CLÉS

Cette confirmation reflète la santé financière des sponsors de GuarantCo, ainsi que les « solides » capacités de l’entreprise à capitaliser et gérer les risques, et son faible risque en matière d’investissement.

L’évaluation de Fitch portant sur les capacités et la volonté des sponsors de soutenir GuarantCo a contribué à améliorer par deux points le profil du crédit autonome de GuarantCo. Toutefois, la notation IFS de GuarantCo ne correspond pas à celle des sponsors en raison de l’absence de garanties sans équivoque, irrévocables et inconditionnelles sur le passif de GuarantCo.

GuarantCo est détenu indirectement par les agences de développement du Royaume-Uni (AA/négatif), de la Suisse (AAA/stable), des Pays-Bas (AAA/stable), de la Suède (AAA/stable) et de l’Australie (AAA/stable), par le biais du Private Infrastructure Development Group Trust (PIDG Trust ; 89 % fin 2018) et directement par la société néerlandaise de financement du développement (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. ou FMO ; AAA/stable ; 11 % fin 2018).

Les contributions en capital versé reçues par GuarantCo de la part de ses sponsors, les 40 millions de livres sterling de capital exigible fournis par le Royaume-Uni à travers le Département pour le Développement international (DfID) et le PIDG en janvier 2017, et les augmentations de capital prévues renforcent l’opinion de Fitch concernant l’engagement des sponsors envers l’entreprise.

La capitalisation fondée sur le risque de GuarantCo est évaluée « très forte », sur la base d’un ratio net pair – capital de 1,3x à la fin de 2018 (0,8x à la fin de 2017), dont un capital exigible apporté par le DfID et une facilité de crédit de 30 millions de dollars US fournie par la FMO. Fitch prévoit une augmentation du levier financier net pair – capital (avec un déclin de capitalisation) au fur et à mesure que GuarantCo étoffe son portefeuille de garanties.

L’entreprise fournit des garanties principalement pour des emprunts libellés en devises autres que le dollar US et émis par des entités classées spéculatives (portefeuille de garanties « à fréquence élevée, forte gravité » tel que défini par la méthodologie de notation des compagnies d’assurance établie par Fitch) et présente un risque de change. Fitch considère que ce risque est gérable en raison de la forte capitalisation de GuarantCo. Toutefois, il est possible que le risque de change augmente au fur et à mesure que l’entreprise se développe et Fitch continuera à surveiller son exposition.

Fitch évalue les pratiques de sélection et d’atténuation des risques de GuarantCo comme solides. GuarantCo possède une vaste expertise dans la gestion et la restructuration de projets de développement sous contraintes, un outil d’atténuation des risques essentiel. Les accords de recours établis avec les emprunteurs permettent à GuarantCo de recouvrir les pertes encourues en cas d’appel de la garantie. Dans le passé, GuarantCo a réalisé des recouvrements solides et n’a dû amortir aucune exposition depuis sa constitution.

Les investissement de GuarantCo sont gérés par PIMCO et Fidelity en deux portefeuilles séparés. Les deux portefeuilles sont constitués majoritairement d’obligations gouvernementales et d’émetteurs privés de courte durée, ainsi que d’instruments de marchés monétaires. L’exposition à des actifs à risque, tels que définis par Fitch, demeure négligeable et ne comprend que 1 million de dollars US en obligations de qualité inférieure. Fitch envisage le maintien du risque d’investissement de GuarantCo à un niveau faible.

L’objectif premier de GuarantCo est de soutenir les projets d’infrastructure et de promouvoir le développement des marchés de capitaux dans les pays à revenus faibles ou moyens. C’est pourquoi le niveau de rentabilité n’est pas une mesure clé du rendement de l’entreprise. Les propriétaires de GuarantCo s’attendent à ce que l’entreprise soit gérée sur une base commerciale et à réaliser un bénéfice modeste, mais cela est secondaire, l’accent étant placé sur la réalisation des objectifs de développement de l’entreprise.

Fitch considère GuarantCo comme un garant financier de petite envergure mais hautement spécialisé. Fitch classe le profil commercial de GuarantCo comme « modéré », comparé à ceux des garants financiers à l’échelle mondiale, reflétant l’évaluation de Fitch quant au positionnement concurrentiel de GuarantCo comme « très favorable », son profil d’activités et risque commercial comme « moins favorables » et sa diversification comme « favorable ».

SENSIBILITÉS DE NOTATION

La notation de GuarantCo serait dévaluée si la notation souveraine du Royaume-Uni venait être dévaluée de plus d’un point.

Une dévaluation pourrait également découler d’un affaiblissement de la situation du capital, mis en évidence par un ratio net pair – capital, y compris le capital exigible et une facilité de crédit, dépassant 3x.

Tout affaiblissement de l’engagement des sponsors de GuarantCo, peut-être en raison d’un changement de priorités des politiques gouvernementales, pourrait également engendrer une dévaluation.

Fitch estime un rehaussement de la notation de GuarantCo très peu probable.

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