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Transnet in no rush for bond issue

Sep 13 2011 16:26 Reuters

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Cape Town - South African state-owned freight logistics group Transnet is not under pressure to go and borrow in international capital markets and may delay a global bond issue until next year, CEO Brian Molefe said on Tuesday.

“We are not under pressure to go into the international markets to borrow money. We are quite comfortable from a cash point of view,” Molefe told journalists.

“At an appropriate time when we feel we need to go into the markets we will go into the markets. It may be this year or may be next year,” he said.

Reporting an improved balance sheet in June, Transnet said it was planning to borrow R25.6bn over the next five years for capital expenditure and the redemption of existing loans.

Transnet, which transports commodities such as coal and iron ore from mines to export terminals, launched an oversubscribed $750m five-year bond in February.

Molefe said cash requirements would determine the size of a future bond issue.

“When we have looked at our cash requirements we will decide on the size of the bond,” he said.

Transnet is accumulating more debt because it has to spend R110bn over the next five years upgrading its ageing rail lines and terminals.

Its gearing ratio is expected to peak at about 47% over the next three years from about 35% to 37% now, before tapering to 40%.

“Our gearing for purposes of covenants on loan agreements is 50%, so we still have quite good head room for gearing to borrow some more. This is debt to total assets or debt to equity,” Molefe told legislators.
transnet  |  brian molefe
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