MANAMA : Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company's long-term issuer default rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating at 'BBB'. The agency has also affirmed Mumtalakat's short-term IDR at 'F3'. The outlook on the long-term IDR is stable. Mumtalakat's $750 million five per cent notes, due June 30, 2015 , have also been affirmed at 'BBB'. The company's ratings are aligned with the kingdom (BBB/stable/F3), reflecting a strong relationship between it and the state. Mumtalakat is a holding company of assets in Bahrain that range from airline, telecoms, flour and aluminium mills, to banking services, among others. It is 100pc-owned by the Bahrain state and is the government's investment arm. Mumtalakat was established in June 2006 as an independent holding company for the government's non-oil and gas assets. The viability of Mumtalakat's business model is dependent on continued strong linkages with the sovereign, its strategic importance as a holding company for the government's non-oil and gas assets, and its low level of leverage relative to Bahrain's financial capacity. Mumtalakat is an active investor in diverse industry sectors spanning over 35 commercial enterprises, nationally and internationally. It has received government shares since its inception in state-owned enterprises, as well as funds and free land to manage and operate its subsidiaries. Although government support falls short of an explicit debt guarantee, Fitch considers Mumtalakat's high profile and strategic role to mean that support would be provided, if needed.
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