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Announcement:

Moody's: No rating impact on CMHI from China Nanshan entrustment

21 Jun 2010

Hong Kong, June 21, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service says that the agreement that will entrust China Merchants Holdings (International) Co Ltd ("CMHI") with the rights to direct additional voting rights over its 37%-owned associate, China Nanshan Development (Group) Incorporation does not have any immediate impact on CMHI's Baa2 issuer rating or on its negative outlook.

The Baa2 bond ratings and negative outlook on CMHI Finance (BVI) Company Ltd are also unaffected.

CMHI announced on Friday that it plans to enter into an entrustment agreement that will give it the power to direct the voting rights for 23.493% of China Nanshan. The entrustment arrangement will therefore give CMHI over 60% of voting rights and allow the company to consolidate China Nanshan accounting-wise.

China Nanshan's key business is Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings Ltd, which has a majority ownership in the Chiwan and Mawan container ports. Its other businesses include oil storage, property development, and construction of modular houses. China Nanshan reported net profit of HKD1.1bn in FY2009, compared to CMHI's net profit of HKD3.2bn.

"Moody's sees the entrustment arrangement as a positive development, as it is part of CMHI's strategy to strengthen its control over its port operations," says Elizabeth Allen, a Moody's VP/Senior Credit Officer, adding that "Chiwan Wharf is the only core port in Shenzhen that CMHI doesn't control or has not yet consolidated. With the entrustment, CMHI will be able to better align the interests of Chiwan Wharf with its other port operations in west Shenzhen."

"There will be a minimal cash flow impact in the near term, as CMHI has to pay only RMB1 for the entrustment rights. At the same time, the company will not be entitled to additional dividends of China Nanshan under the arrangement," adds Allen.

The consolidation, however, is expected to improve CMHI's credit metrics slightly, given the strong cash flow of the port business under China Nanshan.

Moody's understands that there is no time limit to the entrustment agreement. This transaction is subject to the approval of the independent shareholders.

The outlook remains negative, reflecting CMHI's rather modest credit metrics. The recovery of the global economy and the concomitant improvement in international trade and container flows thus far in 2010 should benefit CMHI's operating performance. However, a slight increase in capex and investments could offset the improvement in operations, such that the speed at which CMHI can improve its credit metrics is uncertain.

Moody's last rating action on CMHI was taken on 21 April 2009, when its rating outlook was changed from stable to negative.

CMHI's ratings have been assigned based on factors that Moody's believe are relevant to its risk profile, such as (1) business risk and competitive position compared with other firms within the industry; (2) capital structure and financial risk; (3) projected performance over the near to medium terms; and (4) management's track record and tolerance for risk.

These attributes were compared to those of other issuers both in and outside CMHI's core industry; CMHI's ratings are considered comparable to the ratings of other issuers with similar credit risk.

China Merchants Holdings (International) Co Ltd, headquartered in Hong Kong, is engaged in port investments and container manufacturing. It has port investments across China, including key investments in Shenzhen and Shanghai, both of which are among the world's top five ports. CMHI is 55.59% owned by China Merchants Group Ltd (unrated), a conglomerate ultimately owned by the State Council of China. CMHI is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Hong Kong
Elizabeth Allen
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Asia Pacific Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Hong Kong
Gary Lau
Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Asia Pacific Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Moody's: No rating impact on CMHI from China Nanshan entrustment
No Related Data.
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