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November 27, 2007

JCR Upgrades MOL's Rating from A+ to AA-

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that the Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. (JCR) has upgraded the company's rating of its long-term preferred debt from A+ (positive) to AA- (stable) effective November 27, 2007.

JCR cited the following points as main reasons for the upgrade:

  • MOL has accumulated mid- and long-term contracts mainly for iron ore carriers while the dry bulker market is strongly boosted . The company is also benefiting from the soaring market through spot contracts.
    Considering demand and supply trends in the dry bulker market, concerns over a significant drop in the market level are small and high-level earnings are expected in the foreseeable future.
  • The company's financial structure has been progressively improved by its enhanced capability to generate cash flow, though it continues to make large investments in fleet expansion to meet active cargo trade. The financial structure continues to improve under a policy targeting ¥1 trillion in shareholders' equity.
  • MOL's ability to generate stable cash flow has improved. So JCR forecasts that the company will be able to maintain cash flow at an appropriate level in case the business climate deteriorates.

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