China National Offshore Oil Corp has obtained internationally recognised credit ratings to facilitate financing activities. Moody's assigned a Baa2 issuer rating to the company, while Standard & Poor's (S&P) gave it a BBB long-term foreign currency-credit rating. Both ratings carry a stable outlook. China National Offshore Oil is the mainland's dominant offshore explorer and its third-largest oil company. Its 70.6 per cent-held flagship - red-chip CNOOC - obtained the same ratings in February before its listings in Hong Kong and New York. CNOOC spokesman Xiao Zhongwei said the ratings would facilitate third-party lenders and investor assessment of its parent company's financial health. He said the parent had no immediate plan to spin off assets. In May, CNOOC chief financial officer Mark Qiu said the parent was looking into listing its oilfield services in the domestic A-share market, along with its fertiliser-making operations. Moody's said its rating recognised the supportive regulatory environment and CNOOC's considerable financial flexibility. The rating also accounted for regulatory uncertainty and likely impact on cash of volatility in oil prices, and the significant capital investment plans of both the parent and the listed firm. Moody's rating also reflected its concern that possible government policy changes could be implemented to advance macro-economic and national interest at the expense of state-owned enterprises such as CNOOC. S&P said its rating considered the parent's large reserve base, good growth prospects, low cost position and moderate financial profile. The ratings agency quoted management as saying the parent plans to fund 60 per cent to 70 per cent of its downstream projects via debt. The parent has cash of about US$3.6 billion, it added.