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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Frasers Centrepoint Trust's Baa1 rating; changes outlook to stable

11 Nov 2016

Singapore, November 11, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Frasers Centrepoint Trust's (FCT) Baa1 issuer rating and changed the outlook to stable from positive.

RATIONGS RATIONALE

"FCT's Baa1 rating reflects the stability of its income from good quality, well-located suburban malls as well as its strong financial profile," says Jacintha Poh, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

"FCT has demonstrated a track record of active lease management and achieved positive rental reversions through economic cycles. In the fiscal year ended 30 September 2016 (FY2016), it successfully renewed leases expiring in that year with an average positive rental reversion of around 10%," adds Poh.

Despite the substantial amount of leases expiring in FY2017 -- 39.6% of its leases by total gross rental income --, Moody's does not expect any renewal risk, given that the three larger malls -- Causeway Point, Northpoint and Changi City Point -- account for around 70% of these leases, in which FCT enjoys a near-monopoly position.

Moody's also notes that the trust exhibits a strong financial profile, with adjusted debt/total deposited assets of around 28% and adjusted secured debt/total deposited assets of around 11% during FY2016. These ratios compare well to higher rated peers.

However, its net debt level when compared to its cash flows -- as measured by adjusted net debt/EBITDA of around 6.0x in FY2016 -- is in line with similarly rated peers.

Over the next 12-18 months, Moody's expects a marginal weakening in FCT's leverage as Northpoint undergoes renovations. However, given its strong financial profile, Moody's expects the trust's financial metrics to stay well within the thresholds set for its rating.

Moody's expects FCT's adjusted debt/total deposited assets to be around 28%-30%, adjusted net debt/EBITDA of around 6.0x-6.5x and adjusted EBITDA/interest expense of 7.0x-7.5x.

FCT has SGD218 million (30% of total borrowing) maturing over the next 12 months, of which around SGD30 million are revolving credit facilities that have been rolled over consistently. While the trust has a higher proportion of short-term maturity compared to similarly rated peers, Moody's expects refinancing risk to be manageable given its proven track record of access to capital.

The change in the outlook to stable from positive reflects Moody's view that the potential for upgrade is limited as FCT's asset size will remain small over the next 12-18 months.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that FCT will continue to deliver strong operating results and maintain its strong financial profile, while growing the portfolio in a prudent manner.

FCT's rating could be upgraded if it (1) grows its asset base to SGD3.0 billion-4.0 billion through successful and prudently financed acquisitions; and (2) maintains adjusted debt/total deposited assets below 35%, adjusted net debt/EBITDA below 6.0x, and adjusted EBITDA/interest coverage above 4.0x.

On the other hand, the rating could be downgraded if (1) the operating environment deteriorates, leading to higher vacancy levels and declines in operating cash flow; and/or (2) financial metrics weaken, with adjusted debt/total deposited assets rising above 40%, adjusted net debt/EBITDA rising above 8.0x, EBITDA interest coverage falling below 3.0x, and adjusted secured debt/ total deposited assets exceeding 15% on a consistent basis.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Global Rating Methodology for REITs and Other Commercial Property Firms published in July 2010. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Frasers Centrepoint Trust is a Singapore-focused REIT listed on the Singapore Exchange since 5 July 2006. It has a portfolio of six suburban malls with a total appraised value of SGD2.5 billion as of 30 September 2016. The trust also owns a 31.2% stake in Hektar Real Estate Investment Trust (unrated), which is a retail-focused REIT in Malaysia and is listed on the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad. FCT's sponsor, Frasers Centrepoint Ltd (unrated), holds a 41.5% interest in FCT.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Jacintha Poh
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Laura Acres
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

No Related Data.
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