Moody's Investors Service gave Hyundai Motor Corp. a boost in its credit rating that could help the Korean automaker gain more investors.
Moody, a provider of independent credit ratings and financial information, raised the senior unsecured credit rating for both Hyundai and Kia Motors Corp. to Baa3 from Ba1 for Hyundai and Ba2 for Kia. The ratings are investment grade - a critical hurdle for many major investment funds to consider buying the company's stock - and the highest credit ratings Hyundai has seen in its 37-year history, the automaker said Monday.
Moody based its ratings on the automaker's combined management and operations following a September ratings review. The financial ratings company said Hyundai and Kia's outlook is stable and expects the automaker's overall earnings and credit profile to continue to improve.
Previously, Hyundai set a goal of producing 5 million cars per year and becoming the fifth-largest global automaker by 2010. This year the automaker expects to double sales from its China venture to $2.2 billion.
The ratings are a big increase from the automaker's poor credit ratings and slumping sales seven years ago.
From January to October 2004 Hyundai grew its market share in the United States to 2.5 percent from 1.4 percent during the same period in 2000, and increased its European market share 2.1 percent this year compared to 1.5 percent during the same period in 2000.
Moody predicts that growth trend will continue. It estimates that the Korean automaker will sell more than 215,000 units in India this year. Hyundai currently has a 16.5 percent market share in that country.