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The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited
Press Release

Date
14-Oct-20

Analyst
Faiqa Qamar
faiqa.qamar@pacra.com
+92-42-35869504
www.pacra.com

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This press release is being transmitted for the sole purpose of dissemination through print/electronic media. The press release may be used in full or in part without changing the meaning or context thereof with due credit to PACRA

PACRA Upgrades Entity Ratings of Awami Agro Commodities

Rating Type Entity
Current
(14-Oct-20)
Previous
(08-May-20)
Action Upgrade Maintain
Long Term BBB- BB+
Short Term A2 A3
Outlook Stable Stable
Rating Watch - -

The ratings reflect the proficient background of the partners of Awami Agro Commodies ('Awami Agro'). The partners are well equipped with the related sector knowledge. Growth centric strategy of the partnership encompasses maximizing returns through expansion in export destinations, which is achieved through entering the West African region in FY20. As a result, revenues have increased more than two-folds during the past two years, along with slightly improving its share in non-basmati rice exports to 1.3% (FY19: 1.2%). Awami Agro is a partnership, consequently governance structure which is observed in corporates is missing. Currently, Awami Agro’s entire export of non-basmati rice vests in African countries. Awami Agro's associated concerns, in Madagascar and Benin, has augmented its revenue growth. The country's rice sector remained well performing in FY20, reflecting on the performance of the rice sector players. The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic across the globe and domestically, is impacting various economic sectors at different levels. This being said, the susceptibility of influence on crop-linked businesses is impliedly low, owing to their inescapable demand at all times and their exceptional treatment under the lockdown situation. Comfort is also drawn from the fact that Pakistan's non-basmati/Irri export revenues are largely concentrated in the African Regions, where the pandemic spread is relatively moderate, thus not creating an export hindrance. Additionally, a forecast of decelerated competition on the African side, particularly from Thailand and Vietnam, backs up a stable outlook for Irri/non-basmati export. The same proxy is used to develop a comfort on the business sustainability of Awami Agro, as it only deals in Irri/non-basmati rice. On the flip side, as crisis in the European countries have heightened, the export demand for basmati rice brinks on a blurred outlook and is expected to absorb an impact in the days to come. Awami Agro's profitability has remained strong, further enhancing the equity base resultantly. Historically, Awami Agro's financial risk profile has reflected sanguine debt servicing capacity. Obligations are majorly short term in nature; Export Refinance Facilities, therefore, borrowing costs remain modest. Amidst the current challenging environment, SBP's Relief Packages to Exporters availing Refinancing Facilities benefitted rice players.
The ratings are dependent upon sustenance of business volumes under the current challenging environment. As global economy undergoes distress, business sustainability emerges as the key challenge for the exporters. Lack of governance framework remains a concern. Meanwhile, keeping up with a stable financial risk profile is imperative.

About the Entity
Awami Agro Commodities was established in 2012 as a partnership concern by two brothers; Mr. Bhagwan Das and Mr. Sanjesh Kumar. Its primarily engaged in rice exports and holds membership of Rice Export Association (REAP) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).
Mr. Bhagwan Das along with his three brothers, Mr. Sanjesh Kumar, Mr. Naresh Kumar and Mr. Govinda Kumar, are associated with Awami Agro. The sponsoring family has an experience of three decades in rice industry. Moreover, Mr Vishnu Mal, father of Mr. Bhagwan Das, owns a rice mill in Sindh; named, Awami Rice Mills.

The primary function of PACRA is to evaluate the capacity and willingness of an entity to honor its obligations. Our ratings reflect an independent, professional and impartial assessment of the risks associated with a particular instrument or an entity. PACRA's comprehensive offerings include instrument and entity credit ratings, insurer financial strength ratings, fund ratings, asset manager ratings and real estate gradings. PACRA opinion is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a security, in as much as it does not comment on the security's market price or suitability for a particular investor.