Moody's Investors Service has changed Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd's (PLL) ratings outlook to negative from stable.
In a statement today, Moody’s assistant vice-president and analyst Rachel Chua said the change of rating outlook for PLL was based on the ratings outlook for PLL's ultimate parent, Petronas, yesterday.
“PLL is ultimately 100 percent owned by Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company, which is in turn wholly owned by the Malaysian government (A3 stable)," she said.
Chua said given the negative ratings outlook, a ratings upgrade is unlikely.
“Moody's will revise PLL's ratings outlook to stable from negative only if Petronas' ratings outlook is stabilised,” she said.
Yesterday, Moody’s said the rating action was due to the government’s announcement that Petronas would be paying RM26 billion in dividends in 2018 and RM54 billion (inclusive of a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion) in 2019.
"The negative outlook on Petronas' ratings reflects our view that its financial profile may deteriorate if the government continues to ask the company to keep dividend payments high, especially if oil prices decline," it said.