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Rating Action:

Moody's Publishes New Global Methodologies for PFI/PPP/P3 Transactions

19 Dec 2007
Moody's Publishes New Global Methodologies for PFI/PPP/P3 Transactions

Places 17 PFI/PPP/P3 Ratings on Review

New York, December 19, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today announced that it had placed on review the ratings on 17 PFI/PPP/P3 projects globally, following publication earlier today of its updated methodologies for rating these projects.

"The new methodologies for rating PFI/PPP/P3 projects will improve consistency and transparency of ratings across our project finance portfolio" says Tom Keller, Group Managing Director of Moody's Global Infrastructure Finance Group, based in New York.

The projects placed on review for possible upgrade and their current ratings are:

The Hospital Company (Swindon and Marlborough) Ltd (Baa2)

The Hospital Company (Dartford) Issuer Plc (Baa2)

Octagon Healthcare Funding plc (Baa3)

The projects placed on review for possible downgrade and their current ratings are:

Axiom Education Pty Limited (Aa2)

Civic Nexus Finance Pty Ltd (Aa2)

Darwin Cove Convention Centre Pty Limited (A2)

JEM (CCV) Pty Ltd (Aa2)

JEM (NSW Schools II) Pty Limited (Aa2)

JEM (Southbank) Pty Limited (Aa2)

Mildura Base Hospital Pty Ltd (A1)

Novacare Solutions Partnership (Aa2)

Plenary Justice (SA) Pty Ltd (Aa2)

Plenary Living (LEAP) Finance Pty Ltd (Aa2)

Praeco Pty Ltd (Aa3)

Progress Health Finance Pty Limited (Aa2)

RWH Finance Pty Ltd (Aa2)

Western Liberty Group Finance Pty Ltd (Aa2)

Moody's review in each case will focus on 1) applying the new methodologies to the assessment of credit risks associated with the project, 2) the project's performance history to date, 3) the company's forecast performance, and 4) its capital structure, including ability to withstand stress as indicated by the company's DSCR, leverage, reserves and structural features including equity distribution tests and exposure to refinancing risk (if any).

Moody's has published two methodology reports:

1) Construction Risk in Privately-Financed Public Infrastructure (PFI/PPP/P3) Projects; and

2) Operating Risk in Privately-Financed Public Infrastructure (PFI/PPP/P3) Projects.

"Consistent with existing practice, we plan to consider separately the risks in the construction and operations phases of PFI/PPP projects," explains Moody's Senior Vice President, Bart Oosterveld, one of the authors of the rating methodologies. "Should projects be structured with a significantly higher risk profile in the construction phase than in the operations phase, we will assign a rating based on the construction phase risk profile. Following completion of construction and transition to a steady state of project operations, we would expect to adjust a project's rating for the operations phase risks," he adds.

Moody's is implementing the two methodologies in order to deliver increased transparency and consistency in its approach to evaluating the risks associated with PFI/PPP/P3 projects. The methodologies will apply globally when Moody's assigns ratings to this class of project financing. The methodologies aim to provide a guide to the key considerations Moody's will use to assess credit risk in these projects. The methodologies aim to deliver a rating outcome accurate to within 1-2 notches, subject to adjustment for other qualitative factors.

Prior to publication of the two methodology reports, Moody's sought market feedback. It published Request for Comment reports in August 2006 (in respect of Construction Risk) and in September 2007 (in respect of Operating Risk). Moody's received comments from over 30 market participants from Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA. Many of these comments have been incorporated in the updated methodology reports.

The methodologies apply to PFI/PPP Issuers that earn the majority of their revenue from an availability-based payment stream from a highly rated government off-taker. Typical examples include schools and hospitals, where the Issuer would design and build the required buildings and then clean and maintain the buildings for a 25-30 year term. The methodologies are not intended to cover Issuers whose revenue would be subject to material price, patronage or volume risk (such as toll roads or waste water treatment plants).

For further queries, please contact:

London

William Coley, Vice President/Senior Analyst: Ph: + 44 20 7772 8799

New York

Bart Oosterveld, Senior Vice President: Ph:+ 1 212 553 7914

Sydney

Paul Ovnerud-Potter, Vice President/Senior Analyst: Ph:+ 61 2 9270 8115

Toronto

Grant Headrick, Associate Analyst: Ph: + 1 416 214 3854

New York
Bart Oosterveld
Senior Vice President
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Thomas J. Keller
Managing Director
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

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