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29 Dec 2011
London, 29 December 2011 -- The announced AED16.8 billion (USD 4.6 billion equivalent)
agreement between Aldar Properties PJSC (rated B2, negative) and
the Government of Abu Dhabi (rated Aa2, stable) relating to a package
of property sales, transfers and reimbursements between Aldar and
the government is credit-positive for Aldar, says Moody's
Investors Service in its initial assessment of the proposed transaction.
Overall, Moody's says that the deal alleviates its concerns
relating to Aldar's 2012 debt maturities, as previously expressed
in the rating agency's credit opinion dated 19 September 2011 and
press release dated 23 June 2011.
Moody's understands that the AED16.8 billion agreement covers
property and infrastructure-related transactions associated with
various Aldar real estate projects and assets that also fit strategically
into government initiatives in the areas of infrastructure investment,
redevelopment and public housing programmes. As part of the overall
transaction, AED5 billion will be applied immediately to the retirement
of the outstandings under the existing infrastructure loan from the Abu
Dhabi Government. The balance of AED11.8 billion will be
received over the next four years, pursuant to an agreed payment
schedule that includes the receipt of AED4.5 billion in the next
three months. This latter point alleviates Moody's previously
expressed concerns about Aldar's liquidity profile in light of the
company's 2012 debt maturities.
While Moody's is in the process of undertaking a more detailed assessment
of the impact of the transaction on Aldar's medium-term credit
profile, the rating agency regards the deal as broadly credit-positive.
The agreement further augments the financial support that Aldar has already
received from the Government of Abu Dhabi as well as from Mubadala (rated
Aa3, stable), an Abu Dhabi government investment arm which
holds a 49% stake in Aldar, under an agreement reached in
January 2011 also involving property assets as well as financial support.
As a result, Moody's says that Aldar's credit profile
will now benefit from (i) increased certainty relating to higher levels
of cash inflows over the coming four years further to forward sales having
been agreed with the government; and (ii) the reduced, although
not eliminated, exposure to property sector volatility given the
need to complete further third-party property sales and transactions
over the medium term. The rating agency notes in particular the
sizeable debt obligations scheduled to mature over that timeframe,
- AED3.75 billion sukuk (due in 2013 and issued by Sukuk
Funding (No. 2) Limited) rated B3
- USD1.25 billion bond (due in 2014 and issued by Atlantic
Finance Limited) rated B3
As part of Moody's more detailed assessment of the transaction in
conjunction with further management discussions, the rating agency
will be revising its financial forecasts to take into account the impact
of the various transaction steps while also incorporating the implications
of other recently announced strategic business realignments. Moody's
will particularly focus on assessing the degree to which the above debt
maturities will continue to remain exposed to the commercial risk associated
with the need to supplement with other transactions the cash inflows arising
from the committed payments to be received from the government under this
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Aldar Properties
PJSC (Aldar) is one of the leading master real estate developers in Abu
Dhabi where the company is almost exclusively active. Its activities
include residential projects (e.g. Al Raha Gardens/Beach),
public housing (e.g. Al Falah) and commercial office/retail/hospitality
(e.g. Trust Tower, Yas Mall). For the nine
months ending 30 September 2011, Aldar recorded sales of AED4.7
billion (USD1.3 billion; compared with AED932 million for
the previous year's period) and a profit of AED460 million (against a
loss of AED1.5 billion).
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Services Limited, Dubai Branch
Gate Precinct 3, Level 3
P.O. Box 506845
DIFC - Dubai
Telephone: 00971 4237 9536
David G. Staples
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Telephone: 00971 4237 9536
Moody's: Aldar's agreement with Abu Dhabi Government on property transactions is credit-positive
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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