JCR Eurasia Rating has affirmed the credit ratings of Albtelecom Sh.a. as ‘BBB-(Alb)’ on the Long Term National Scale with a revised outlook to ‘Stable’ and ‘BB+/Stable’ on the Long Term International Foreign Currency Scales.

JCR Eurasia Rating has evaluated “Albtelecom Sh.a.” in an investment grade category and affirmed its Long Term National Grade as ‘BBB-(Trk)’ and revised its outlook to ‘Stable’. Additionally, the Long Term International Foreign Currency and Long Term International Local Currency Grades have been determined as ‘BB+/Stable’. Additional ratings are stated in the table below:

Long Term International Foreign Currency

:

BB+ / (Stable Outlook)

Long Term International Local Currency

:

BB+ /(Stable Outlook)

Long Term National Local Rating

:

BBB- (Alb) / (Stable Outlook)

Short Term International Foreign Currency

:

B / (Stable Outlook)

Short Term International Local Currency

:

B / (Stable Outlook)

Short Term National Local Rating

:

A-3 (Alb) / (Stable Outlook)

Sponsor Support

:

2

Stand Alone

:

B

Albtelecom Sh.a. (henceforth Albtelecom or the Company), the incumbent Telecom operator of Albania, was privatized in 2007 through the sale of majority shares to Çetel Telekom İletişim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., with a shareholding structure of Turkey’s prominent Çalık Holding and leading telecommunication company Türk Telekom. Following the incorporation of Eagle Mobile in 2013, Albania’s third largest mobile operator, Albtelecom began to offer a wider package of telecom services to its customer base.

Albtelecom has a strong fiber optic backbone and modern network coverage in fixed and mobile services and is a unique operator providing 4 services in one bundle including fixed phone, Internet, IPTV and mobile service through a one-stop-shop concept in the same invoice to its customers in the competitive Albanian market. Moreover, the Company provides extensive business solutions to its corporate customers, international organizations and public institutions in Albania. The Company has managed to gain a high number of subscribers following its introduction of ALBTV (IPTV) after receiving a broadcasting license in February 2014. Additionally, Albtelecom increased its presence in the mobile market and its competitiveness through acquiring LTE (4G) licenses in February 2015 and beginning services in September 2015.

Albtelecom continuously invested in its fiber optic backbone and network coverage in fixed and mobile following its privatization which was largely funded through long term finances from vendors and financial institutions and therefore exposed to considerable financing expenses. Despite not incurring a significant FX loss thanks to of the stable LEK against the EURO, the Company's exposure to foreign currency remains high. Moreover, internal revenue generation capacity of the Company was downwardly suppressed by the intense competition in the market leading to considerably low Average Revenue per Users compared to the rest of Europe and declining trend of fixed services. On the other hand, cost cutting measures to gain efficiency through reorganization, the Company’s unique position in the market offering wider telecom services to individual and corporate customers along with the increasing data consumption demand from young generation increase the visibility of the Company’s future revenues.

It is considered that the major controlling entities, Çalık Holding, Turk Telekom and the Government of Albania have the willingness and capability to ensure long term liquidity and equity to the Company when required. In this regard, Albtelecom Sh.a.’s Sponsor Support grade has been determined as (2).

Additionally, taking into account the Company’s vast and cutting edge infrastructure, the variety of services, asset size and quality, risk management practices and experienced senior management team, we, as JCR Eurasia Rating, are of the opinion that Albtelecom Sh.a. has reached the level of adequate experience and facilities to manage the incurred risks on its balance sheet regardless of any assistance from the shareholders. Within this context, the Stand Alone grade of the Company has been determined as (B) in the JCR Eurasia Rating notation system.

For more information you may visit our internet site http://www.jcrer.com.tr or contact our analyst Mr. Abdurrahman TUTĞAÇ.

JCR EURASIA RATING

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