International rating agency Fitch reviewed its rating cast on Rompetrol Holland group, downgrading it from B minus stable to negative following the Romanian General Prosecutor’s investigation of the group’s management, writes a press release of the agency.

According to Fitch analysts, recent events including the levy on Rompetrol Rafinare (RRC) shares might worsen the political environment in which the company activates. Fitch considers that the levy impedes on the shares trade and limits the group’s financial flexibility.

Rompetrol Olanda (TRG) released a press communiqué on Monday evening mentioning that the Fitch rating downgrade from stable to negative will not have any influence upon the operational and financial capacity of the group.

Philip Stephenson, vice-president of the company said that the Fitch evaluation was normal under these circumstances of a prolonged and abusive investigation run by the General Prosecutor’s office

Rompetrol Holland holds 51 per cent of the Rompetrol Rafinare and has indirect control of 77 per cent of the shares. Despite the current situation, Rompetrol Holland manages dividends and holds the voting rights.

The investigation has damaged the company’s reputation and is affecting the Rompetrol’s capacity to attract new funds, but has not influenced the liquidities, says Fitch which underlines the fact that the company succeeded to strengthen the managers’ team and planed in advance detailed schemes for a good continuation of the activity in case of negative evolutions.

In 2005, Rompetrol recorded a pre tax solid profit of 164 million US dollars compared to 101 million in 2004, almost all being recorded by the Romanian companies of the group, according to Fitch data.

Following the purchase of the French gas provider Dyneff, in January 2006, EBITDA will record 88 per cent for activities in Romania and 12 per cent for France.