Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable

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1 Research Update: Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable Primary Credit Analyst: Per Karlsson, Stockholm (46) ; Secondary Contact: Tommy J Trask, Dubai (971) ; Table Of Contents Overview Rating Action Rationale Outlook Ratings Score Snapshot Related Criteria And Research Ratings List DECEMBER 17,

2 Research Update: Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable Overview We have reviewed Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) K.S.C. (KIPCO) under our revised criteria for investment holding companies, published Dec. 1, In our view, KIPCO's stand-alone credit profile continues to display adequate portfolio quality and debt leverage commensurate with the current rating. We are affirming our 'BBB-/A-3' ratings on KIPCO and removing them from under criteria observation (UCO). The stable outlook reflects our view that KIPCO has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio lower than 30%. Rating Action On Dec. 17, 2015, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term corporate credit ratings on Kuwait-based investment holding company Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) K.S.C. (KIPCO). The outlook is stable. At the same time, we removed the ratings from UCO, where we placed them on Dec. 1, Rationale The affirmation follows our review of KIPCO under our revised criteria " Methodology: Investment Holding Companies," published Dec. 1, 2015, on RatingsDirect. We believe that KIPCO will continue to benefit from ownership support and we therefore regard the company's position as positive under our comparable ratings analysis. This has resulted in a one-notch uplift to KIPCO's anchor of 'bb+'; therefore, the stand-alone credit profile (SACP) is at 'bbb-', the same level as the long-term corporate credit rating. Our assessment of KIPCO's business risk profile as fair reflects the group's large investment portfolio, adequate portfolio quality, and large controlling stakes in portfolio companies, with strategic influence and control over the dividend policy. On the negative side, we view portfolio liquidity as lower than that of peers. This reflects that a large asset (OSN) is unlisted, and there are small free floats and restricted liquidity in the major listed assets. We also see considerable asset risk, owing to limited diversification, DECEMBER 17,

3 Research Update: Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable since the three largest assets constitute close to 70% of the portfolio. We assess KIPCO's financial risk profile as intermediate. We note that over the past five years, KIPCO has managed its leverage with the LTV ratio below 30%. By our measures, KIPCO's LTV ratio was in line with the current ratings, at 28.9% on Sept. 30, Our positive view of KIPCO under our comparable ratings analysis reflects KIPCO's status as a majority-owned company of Al Futtooh Holding Co. K.S.C. (Closed) (AFH), which is connected to Kuwait's ruling Al Sabah family and affiliated entities. We expect AFH, as a long-term owner, to continue to provide financial support for KIPCO when needed. This has happened on several occasions in the past, most recently in late 2011 through a $101 million cash injection that helped KIPCO maintain its LTV target of 30%. Liquidity We view KIPCO's liquidity as strong, based on our estimate that sources of cash should cover uses by at least 1.5x over the 12 months started Sept. 30, 2015, and by more than 1x over the ensuing 24 months. Liquidity sources: Our estimate of $265 million in cash and cash equivalents at the parent company on Sept. 30, 2015, pro forma an upcoming bond repayment; and Dividends and undrawn committed credit facilities totaling about $340 million. Liquidity uses: Dividend to the parent company of $119 million; and Operating and interest expenses of $150 million-$155 million. We note that the company has a debt of $265 million that is due in January and $500 million in October of We understand, however, that the company will meet these amounts from the proceeds of recent bond issuance. Outlook The stable outlook reflects our view that KIPCO has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining an LTV ratio below 30%. KIPCO also has a comfortable debt maturity profile, a conservative approach to new investments, and a supportive main shareholder, in our view. Downside scenario We could lower the ratings if the company's leverage (as measured by LTV) increased beyond 30%, or the credit quality of its portfolio deteriorated. We could also lower the ratings if we perceived weakening in the owner's willingness or ability to support KIPCO. DECEMBER 17,

4 Research Update: Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable Upside scenario We could consider an upgrade if KIPCO adopted a more conservative financial policy or if the quality and diversification in the investment portfolio improved materially. Ratings Score Snapshot Corporate Credit Rating: BBB-/Stable/A-3 Business risk: Fair Country risk: Moderately high Industry risk: Intermediate Investment position: Fair Financial risk: Intermediate Leverage/Cash flow: Intermediate Funding and capital structure: Neutral Anchor: bb+ Modifiers Liquidity: Strong (no impact) Management and governance: Satisfactory (no impact) Comparable rating analysis: Positive (+1 notch) Related Criteria And Research Related Criteria Methodology: Investment Holding Companies, Dec. 1, 2015 Methodology And Assumptions: Liquidity Descriptors For Global Corporate Issuers, Dec. 16, 2014 Standard & Poor's National And Regional Scale Mapping Tables, Sept. 30, 2014 Group Rating Methodology, Nov. 19, 2013 Methodology: Industry Risk, Nov. 19, 2013 Corporate Methodology, Nov. 19, 2013 Corporate Methodology: Ratios And Adjustments, Nov. 19, 2013 Country Risk Assessment Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 19, 2013 Ratings Above The Sovereign Corporate And Government Ratings: Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 19, 2013 Methodology: Management And Governance Credit Factors For Corporate Entities And Insurers, Nov. 13, 2012 Stand-Alone Credit Profiles: One Component Of A Rating, Oct. 1, 2010 Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks, Sept. 14, Corporate Criteria: Rating Each Issue, April 15, DECEMBER 17,

5 Research Update: Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) Affirmed At 'BBB-/A-3'; Outlook Stable Related Research Ratings On 12 Investment Holding Companies Affirmed Following Review Under Revised Criteria, Dec. 17, 2015 New Criteria Published For Investment Holding Companies; Ratings Placed Under Criteria Observation, Dec. 1, 2015 Ratings List Rating Affirmed Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) K.S.C. Corporate Credit Rating BBB-/Stable/A-3 Kuwait Projects Co. (Cayman) Senior Unsecured* BBB- *Guaranteed by Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding) K.S.C. Additional Contact: Industrial Ratings Europe; Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect at and at spcapitaliq.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following Standard & Poor's numbers: Client Support Europe (44) ; London Press Office (44) ; Paris (33) ; Frankfurt (49) ; Stockholm (46) ; or Moscow 7 (495) DECEMBER 17,

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