The Private Sector Commission (PSC), less than two weeks ago, commenced a toy drive aimed at bringing a touch of Christmas cheer to the worst off of the children of laid-off sugar workers in the Skeldon community.The distribution of toys and hampers took place at Line Path, Skeldon, Corriverton on Friday lastThis drive, at the insistence of members, expanded to become a major toy and hamper drive with members giving generously towards the effort. The Commission now plans to extend the hamper drive to the worst-off families of the other sugar estates, beginning with Wales this week.According to the Commission, “the Skeldon workers were first targeted due to the existence of a strong partner in the community – Sectoral Member, the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commission and Industry (UCCCI) – which was equipped with information on the workers and willing and able to assist with distribution”. The UCCCI will also host a simple party at which the children will receive their gifts.
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: PxHere under CC0 Creative Commons license Moody’s Japan K.K. has downgraded Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ (MOL) corporate family rating to Ba2 from Ba1 on the grounds of the company’s likely inability to cut debt over the next few years.The argumentation is based on the expectation that the company will continue to borrow to invest in its growth segments, such as offshore oil and gas infrastructure and LNG carriers. The rating outlook is stable.“We expect MOL’s debt will not decline materially over the next few years and its leverage will likely remain above our downgrade guidance of 7.0x for a Ba1 rating,” says Motoki Yanase, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.Moody’s expects a marginal improvement in profitability measured by EBIT margin over the next few years, from its growth segments, the spin-off of its volatile containership business into the Ocean Network Express (ONE) joint venture, and the gradual recovery in the market, mainly in the dry bulk and containership sectors.According to the rating agency, ONE hasn’t benefited MOL’s profitability so far, and it will take several years to prove out. Even potential earnings improvement of the JV are likely to have a limited impact on MOL’s ability to lower leverage, given the large size of its debt.Moody’s expects that MOL’s EBIT margin will remain in the single digits, and that any improvement in EBITDA will not be enough to lower leverage. Moody’s estimates MOL’s retained cash flow/net debt will remain in the single digits, lower than that of its global peers at the Ba or single-B levels.Despite its weak credit metrics, MOL’s rating continues to be supported by its large scale, relatively diversified shipping segments, and well-established market presence.The company’s fleet includes about 850 vessels, including dry bulkers, car carriers, tankers and LNG carriers, which have different business cycles and mitigate business volatility to some extent, the rating agency said, adding that these mostly unencumbered assets put the company in a better position than many of its global peers to raise funds by selling or securing assets.