Thursday, January 27

Good weather, but alert for currency restrictions: Moody’s forecast for Argentine companies

With the post-pandemic, companies highlighted positive scenarios for accessing credit in the local market and keeping their companies financially stable. From Moody’s they highlighted that companies have managed to maintain a limited level of net indebtedness below previous years and moderate to high levels of liquidity. “Companies have taken a conservative financial attitudesaid Pablo Artusso, Head of Corporate Finance at Moody’s Local.

As for 2021, Moody’s highlighted the under-indebtedness of the corporate sector and maintains forecasts for 2022 and 2023 of a stable capital structure. In the local market, the level of indebtedness is “manageable”. In other words, the majority of the companies turned to the local market when financing themselves. In this sense, in 2022 capital maturities are expected for the equivalent of 2,100 million dollars, of which 1,000 million are in foreign currency, the latter, concentrated in a few companies.

Energy sector

Recently, Pablo González, Chairman of the YPF board of directors He announced that an investment of the order of 30% is planned for 2022 to reach US $ 3.5 billion, compared to US $ 2.7 billion this year. Alejandro Daniel Lew, CFO of YPF Along the same lines, he stressed that YPF’s financial situation is “very manageable” and highlighted great investment opportunities for the energy sector.

Regarding the prospects for 2022, Daniel Lew did not avoid questions regarding the decoupling of international prices to local ones: “It is unwise to run to volatility all the time, we are trying to manage with certain balances in the international market “,” We are aware of managing the prices at the pump so as not to exacerbate the inflationary context “

“We are an industry with a significant impact on the macro and inflation” and detailed what was the strategy of the sector in the midst of a difficult economic context: “Part of the financial prudence that we handle helped to lower net debt and this generates that We have significant liquidity. This is historical. We have a challenge in managing that liquidity. We have a dynamic policy trying to diversify risks and measure the levels of exchange rate coverage, part is debt in pesos and another is resorting to market instruments local. We do not exceed the 15% to 20% risk of our liquidity position. “

Tourism sector

If there was a sector more affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it was the tourism sector, as expressed by Juan Martín Vico, CFO of Airports Argentina 2000. Although at this moment they are in full recovery, the future outlook is positive: “Argentina It is a cheap country, we expect a significant flow. There are investment commitments for 2022. This year is going to be a year of return of operations and investments in airports. ” At the domestic level, Vico remarked that a “sustained growth”.

Food sector

For Arcor, the multinational consumer food group, the challenge for 2022 is greater. In this case, Adrián Calaza CFO of Grupo Arcor highlighted certain skepticism regarding the concern generated by an increase in inflation in 2022 that impacts on consumption. “There are local challenges on how to manage inflation but challenges of staying profitable with growth. There are challenges with growing input costs.” However, he assured that this scenario is not only reflected in the country but in other countries “such as Brazil and Chile where we have important operations.”

Calaza assured that in 2022, the outlook is “positive” but compared to the loss in 2021. “Now consumption is helping, exporting is being achieved,” he said.

The financial situation of companies

With an exchange market restricted by the Central Bank (BCRA), the corporate sector is at a time of risk arbitrage. Regarding the financial stability of the company, Arcor highlighted that 30-40% of the company’s income is not in pesos, therefore “there is a natural hedge” against a possible devaluation. In that sense, Calaza assured that today the main problem for the company is inflation: “In an industry like ours of mass consumption, inflation is worked day by day” and was reluctant to price controls: “they impact on the business”.

Today the corporate sector is in a defensive position and there are complications in operating in the market. It is for this reason that most turn to bonds whose capital is adjusted for inflation (CER Bonds), bonds tied to the evolution of the dollar (Linked Dollar) looking for new tools to solve excess liquidity.

Finally, from Moody’s they assured that One of the central problems for the corporate sector are the exchange restrictions that impede the possibility of foreign investment until there are better definitions of what the way forward in the economy will be. Lack of access to international markets will pose challenges for local businesses.