The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited
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Madiha Sohail

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PACRA Maintains Ratings to Hub Power Company Limited | Privately Placed Sukuk of PKR 5bln

Rating Type Debt Instrument
(15-Apr-22 )
(16-Apr-21 )
Action Maintain Maintain
Long Term AA+ AA+
Short Term - -
Outlook Stable Stable
Rating Watch - -

The rating reflects the holding company character of Hubco with an exclusive focus on the different dimension of the energy sector. In addition to the investment book, Hubco itself is a large RFO based power plant. Hubco aims to expand generation capacity to boost the country's power generation by utilizing Pakistan's indigenous natural resources. China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) - A joint venture with China Power International Holdings Limited (CPIHL): 2x660MW coal-fired power plant at Hub achieved COD as of 17 August 2019. This is indeed a crucial development. Hubco is setting up two more coal power plants (i) Thar Energy Limited (TEL): 330MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant at Thar and (ii) Thalnova Power: 330MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant at Thar. Hubco also has an investment in Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC). These investments are being funded through a mix of short term and long term debt and Hubco has already deployed a sizeable fund in its ongoing projects of Thalnova and Thar Energy Ltd. Hubco has working capital related borrowing as well. The overall debt quantum in the wake of fresh investment is huge. The cash flows of the company can sustain the burden, which will be complemented by the dividend inflows. Furthermore, the company has recently received payments from government against outstanding capacity payments under the signed MoU. This has further improved the Company’s cashflows providing comfort to the ratings. Hubco has used short term debt instruments and privately placed short term Sukuk to meet its working capital requirement.
Cash flow streams of Hubco's plants are guaranteed by GoP under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), subject to adherence to the agreed-upon performance benchmarks; this provides comfort to the ratings. Hubco has recently signed an agreement with Govt. actual impact of the executed agreement is yet to be seen. Timely completion of new projects, settlement of receivable and payable and maintaining healthy debt service coverages is important.

About the Entity
Hubco, a listed company, which was incorporated in 1991. Mega Conglomerate (Pvt.) Ltd (19.5 %) is the single largest shareholder followed Fauji Foundation (8.5%), Allied Bank (4.4%) and NBP (3.6%). The remaining ownership is shared by Insurance companies, Mutual Funds and general public. Hubco holds a 100% stake in Narowal Energy Ltd which operates a 225MW capacity oil-fired power plant at Narowal. The BoD comprises nine members including the CEO of Hubco. BoD includes three representatives from Mega Conglomerate including the Chairman along with Independent Directors.

About the Instrument
Hubco issued a Rated, Secured, Privately Placed, Islamic Certificate on March 19, 2020, to finance Company’s working capital requirements. The Privately Placed Long Term Sukuk, having a tenor of four years, carries a profit rate of 1 Year Kibor + 190bps. Interest is being paid semi-annually and principal will be paid in 4 equal semi-annual installments (with two years of Grace Period) starting from the 30th month of the issuance date in September 2022. Currently, the markup of PKR 1,215mln has been paid till March 2022 by the Company. The first principal repayment amounting PKR 1,250mln is falling due on 19-Sep-22.

The primary function of PACRA is to evaluate the capacity and willingness of an entity to honor its obligations. Our ratings reflect an independent, professional and impartial assessment of the risks associated with a particular instrument or an entity. PACRA's comprehensive offerings include instrument and entity credit ratings, insurer financial strength ratings, fund ratings, asset manager ratings and real estate gradings. PACRA opinion is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a security, in as much as it does not comment on the security's market price or suitability for a particular investor.