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Moody's reviews Ritzio Entertainment Group for downgrade

July 02, 2007 | Cbonds

London, 27 June 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today placed the B2
corporate family rating of Ritzio Entertainment Group ("Ritzio" or the
"company") on review for possible downgrade. Concurrently, Moody's Interfax
Rating Agency placed the company's A3.ru national scale rating on review for
possible downgrade. Moscow-based Moody's Interfax is majority-owned by
Moody's, a leading global rating agency.



According to Moody's and Moody's Interfax ("Moody's"), the rating review has
been prompted by the recent indications that the new gaming legislation
enacted in Russia in December 2006 has had a more immediate and more adverse
impact than previously expected and could therefore prove more detrimental
to the company's Russian operations than Moody's had originally factored
into its ratings.



The St. Petersburg region and 54 other regional authorities are highly
likely to ban gambling activities either completely or partially as from
1 July 2007 or 1 January 2008 - significantly earlier than the previously
indicated date of 1 July 2009. Moody's expects to have greater clarity on
the situation in the coming weeks and will undertake to assess the
implications of such developments for the company's ratings as soon as
possible.



Ritzio derives approximately 85% of its revenues from Russia and
approximately half of EBITDA is contributed by the Moscow and St.
Petersburg markets. Moody's notes that the company's international
operations should not be impacted by the new legislation, but these
represent only 15% of total revenues.



Headquartered in Cyprus, Ritzio Entertainment Group is a leading gaming
company with operations predominantly in Russia, as well 10 other
countries including the neighbouring Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, the
Baltic States, and several countries in Europe and Latin America. For the
financial year 2007, Ritzio reported revenues of US$1.172 billion and
unadjusted EBITDA of US$485 million.

Company: Ritzio International

Full company nameRitzio International Limited
Country of riskRussia
Country of registrationCyprus
IndustryOther sectors

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