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Holcim’s Credit Outlook Upgraded by Moody’s on Cement Rebound

March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Holcim Ltd., the world’s largest cement maker, had its credit outlook upgraded by Moody’s Investors Service, ending 15 months on a “negative watch” status that had threatened Holcim’s investment-grade rating.

Moody’s said it changed the outlook on all its ratings of Jona, Switzerland-based Holcim to stable from negative, citing cash generation as cement sales in the U.S. and emerging markets improve.

Holcim maintained its investment-grade rating throughout the European financial crisis even as peers were downgraded to junk status. A savings program begun by Chief Executive Officer Bernard Fontana should gain momentum in 2013 and will help Holcim improve its finances, Moody’s said.

Fontana has promised to save 1.5 billion francs ($1.6 billion) by 2014 through efficiency gains in areas such as procurement and logistics. The company raised 375 million francs in December through asset sales in Thailand and Guatemala.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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