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December 03, 2007

Moody's Raises MOL's Ratings to A3

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that Moody's upgraded the company's senior unsecured and issuer ratings from Baa1 to A3.

Moody's cited the following points as its main reasons for the upgrade:

  • MOL has greatly reinforced profitability by increasing the efficiency of its ocean shipping business, in order to cope with unsteady freight rates, bunker prices, and foreign exchange rates in recent years. The company also has improved stability of its business by increasing long-term transport contracts and other transport contracts with the conditions that allow adjustment of freight rates according to bunker prices.
  • The company has advanced the diversification of its ocean shipping business by expanding LNG carrier, tanker, car carrier, and dry bulker businesses. What’s more, its entire business portfolio has been diversified by expanding shipping associated businesses such as terminal, logistics, and air cargo, as well as real estate business.
  • Despite of the hardships the company faces, MOL has the ability to continually execute management plans and it has well balanced sound financial policies. And, its capital structure has greatly improved, thanks to its reinforced cash flow.
  • Therefore, the company will be able to further improve its capital structure in the future, although it has proactively expanded its fleet under the current midterm management plan, which covered fiscal 2007 through 2009. Moody's believes that MOL will achieve stronger financial flexibility, even if market conditions deteriorate in the future.

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