OREANDA-NEWS  On 15 October Credit-Rating, a nationally recognized credit rating agency in Ukraine announced that it assigned a long-term credit rating of uaA- (uaA minus) to Kiev-based Fozzy-Food LLC (`issuer` or `company`) and to its upcoming issue of registered coupon bonds (series B). The amount of the issue is to be UAH100m, with 5-year original maturity. The company`s principal activity is wholesale and retail trade with foodstuffs and non-foods. In the course of analysis Credit-Rating considered issuer`s financial statements for 2003-2007 and 1H2008 as well as its other inside information.

An obligor or a debt liability with uaA credit rating is characterized with the HIGH STRONG creditworthiness as compared to other Ukrainian obligors or debt liabilities. This level of creditworthiness is susceptible to adverse changes in commercial, financial and economic conditions. A plus "+" and a minus "-" signs indicate intermediary categories compared to the standard categories (grades).

Factors maintaining the credit rating

The Fozzy Group holding, which incorporates the issuer, enjoys strong market positions in the retail segment.

Expansion of Silpo supermarket chain, which embraced 148 units in all Ukraine`s regions as of July 30, 2008, with the issuer operating 35 Silpo supermarkets located in the city of Kiev.

High growth rates of retail segment recorded in the past few years, with such trend expected to be further retained.

Factors constraining the credit rating

The group`s sophisticated structure and absence of audited consolidated financial statements.

Issuer`s significant debt burden: as of the year ended on June 30, 2008, the ratio of issuer`s debt of UAH271.6m to the EBITDA of UAH34.7m was 7.8.