(EnergyAsia, March 31) — CNOOC Finance Corporation Ltd said it has obtained A2 (stable outlook) and BBB+ (positive outlook) issuer ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poors respectively. The company said it is the highest credit rating received by Chinese companies, the first by a finance company in China.

The ratings are said to be the same as given its parent company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

CNOOC Finance is an in-house finance company within CNOOC. It is 62.9%-owned by CNOOC, 31.8% by CNOOC Ltd and the rest by other CNOOC subsidiaries. Its key role is to provide treasury and finance related services, such as accounts settlement and funds management services, to CNOOC group companies. CNOOC Finance is licensed and regulated by the China Banking Regulatory Commission and People’s Bank of China.

Moodys Investors Service said the A2 rating with stable outlook reflects CNOOC Finance’s integral role in CNOOC and A2 rated CNOOC’s support to it, as well as CNOOC Finance’s strong balance sheet and conservative financial management.

Standard & Poors said its BBB+ rating for the company reflects the strong linkage with and support provided by CNOOC and its key subsidiaries.

The recognition of CNOOC Finance’s credit strength by international rating agencies serves as a milestone for the international investor community to better understand the finance company industry in China.

Credit Suisse First Boston (Hong Kong) Limited acted as the rating advisor to CNOOC Finance