S&P cuts Israel Chemicals outlook to "negative"

Sun Nov 1, 2015 5:07am EST
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JERUSALEM Nov 1 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's lowered its credit outlook for specialty chemicals and fertiliser maker Israel Chemicals (ICL) to "negative" from "stable", citing a likely decline in potash prices next year.

S&P maintained a "BBB" rating on ICL's debt, it said in a report published on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Sunday.

"The outlook revision reflects ICL's weak operating performance in 2015 and our concern that, without countermeasures, soft potash market conditions may cause the company's profits and key financial metrics to stay below our benchmarks for the 'BBB' rating in 2016," it said.

It noted the risk of a 10 percent drop in potash prices next year due to a supply-demand imbalance.

ICL, controlled by conglomerate Israel Corp, is one of the three largest suppliers of the crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by John Stonestreet)