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Global Credit Research - 18 Feb 2011
Approximately $55 million of debt securities affected.
Toronto, February 18, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service today affirmed the A1 senior secured rating
for St. John's International Airport Authority (SJIAA) and
maintained the stable outlook.
The rating affirmation takes into account SJIAA's traffic volume
resilience during the recent economic recession and material traffic growth
in 2010 (+8%), SJIAA's modest debt levels by comparison
to other rated Canadian airport authorities and its stable financial results,
as well as the recently announced capital expenditure program which will
translate into some $70 Million being spent in the next 4 years
to expand the existing terminal and undertake various other projects related
to on-going rehabilitation, security and safety of the airport
facilities. While that new phase of capital expenditures will translate
into additional debt, the authority expects that through traffic
growth and moderate increases in rates and fees, it should be able
to maintain credit metrics through the middle of the decade. Moody's
notes as well that the capital expenditure program is composed of several
independent items which can be accelerated or delayed depending on traffic
volumes. As well, none of the program's components
should represent any material degree of unusual complexity. SJIAA
intends to increase the size of its bank credit facility by this summer
so as to fund (in addition to cash flows) the capital expenditures on
an interim basis until a sufficient amount of borrowings can justify a
take out in the long term debt markets.
The rating outlook is stable reflecting the expectation that SJIAA will
continue to record modest traffic growth over the coming years and that,
as in the past, it will implement the necessary rate and fee increases
to maintain its financial health.
A rating upgrade or a change in outlook from stable to positive is unlikely
at this stage as the airport rating is constrained by its relative small
size and limited diversification of the local economy. A rating
downgrade or an outlook change to negative would be triggered by any limitation
put on the airport authorities with respect to rate and fee setting,
an impaired liquidity situation, persistent and material declines
in traffic volumes, and/or large capital expenditures not justified
by any demand growth.
- $55 Million senior secured bond, 5.25%
coupon, due May 11, 2037
The last rating action was on April 27, 2007 when an A1 rating was
assigned to St. John's International Airport Authority's
proposed $55 Million debt issue.
St. John's International Airport Authority is a government
related issuer (GRI). In accordance with Moody's GRI rating methodology,
the ratings of SJIAA reflect the combination of the following inputs:
- Baseline credit assessment (BCA) of 5 (on a scale of 1 to 21,
where 1 represents the equivalent risk of a Aaa, 2 a Aa1,
and so forth, with 5 representing the equivalent risk of an A1);
the BCA is assigned by applying the methodology applicable to non US airports.
- Aaa local currency rating of the Government of Canada
- Low dependence
- Low support
As a result of the low dependence and low support assumptions, the
final rating of the senior secured debt issued by SJIAA is equal to the
SJIAA is a non-share capital corporation responsible for the operation
of the St. John's International Airport, including the development
of certain airport lands under the terms of its 60-year lease signed
with Transport Canada in 1998. In 2010, it served over 1.3
million passengers. SJIAA's head office is located in St.
Catherine N. Deluz
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Project Finance Group
Moody's Canada Inc.
Chee Mee Hu
MD - Project Finance
project Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Canada Inc.
Moody's affirms St. John's International Airport Authority A1 senior secured rating. Outlook remains stable.
70 York Street
Toronto, ON M5J 1S9
No Related Data.
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