CTC seeks credit rating exemption

Russian broadcaster CTC Media has asked Standard & Poor’s to withdraw its credit rating service as part of what it describes as a cost-cutting exercise.

S&P affirmed the Company’s ‘BB-/B’ long- and short-term corporate credit ratings and ‘ruAA-‘ Russia national scale rating and then withdrew the ratings. The outlook was stable at the time of the withdrawal.

At the same time, CTC’s board rescheduled the release of its second quarter earnings results and related conference call, originally scheduled for yesterday, in order to give it time to finalise financial statements. The company anticipates releasing its second quarter earnings announcement and holding its second quarter conference call for analysts and investors in early August.

CTC’s part owner Modern Times Group is currently in talks to sell its stake in the broadcaster to Russian media group UTH, co-owned by Alisher Usmanov and Ivan Tavrin, a move forced on it by changes in Russian media law restricting foreign ownership of media companies to a 20% ceiling.

CTC Media’s stock price has fallen by about 80% this year, following six consecutive quarters of revenue declines as the Russian ad market shrank.

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