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Announcement:

Moody's announces rating impact on issuers linked to the Province of British Columbia

Global Credit Research - 13 Dec 2012

Toronto, December 13, 2012 -- In conjunction with the revision of the Province of British Columbia's outlook to negative, Moody's has revised the outlook on the City of Vancouver's Aaa rating to negative from stable and affirmed the ratings and outlooks for four other linked issuers: Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia (MFABC), South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink), the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU).

RATINGS RATIONALE

This announcement follows the change in the Province of British Columbia's ratings outlook to negative from stable (http://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Revises-British-Columbias-Outlook-to-Negative-from-Stable-on--PR_261569). Following Moody's assessment of the macroeconomic and funding linkages between the Province of British Columbia and its regional and local governments and government-related issuers, Moody's has revised the outlook for the City of Vancouver and affirmed the ratings and outlooks for four issuers.

City of Vancouver -- debt rating outlook changed to Aaa, negative from Aaa, stable.

The outlook revision for the City of Vancouver's Aaa rating to negative from stable reflects the negative outlook on the Province of British Columbia. The city's rating reflects its consistent, positive financial results, strong liquidity position and diversified economy. The city's debt burden is, however, higher than most Aaa-rated Canadian municipalities and its rating presently benefits from support from the province and as such the city's rating would likely move in tandem with the province's rating and outlook.

The affirmations reflect the expectation that the following issuers would likely not be downgraded if the province's rating were downgraded one notch:

Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia (MFABC) -- debt rating affirmed Aaa, stable.

The rating affirmation of MFABC reflects its strong institutional framework and substantial liquidity, along with its continued solid fiscal and financial position. The strong institutional framework provides significant debenture holder security, including the joint and several liability of members of regional districts that borrow from MFABC and the unlimited taxing powers on all taxable properties in the province of British Columbia.

South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) -- issuer and debt ratings affirmed Aa2, stable.

The rating affirmation of TransLink reflects the authority's access to diverse revenue sources, including taxing authority, and strong governance and management framework requiring funded three-year financial plans, balanced by a sizable capital plan requiring significant debt. While the debt burden of TransLink has increased significantly in recent years, it is expected to stabilize and remain manageable within the current fiscal framework.

University of British Columbia (UBC) -- issuer and debt ratings affirmed Aa1, stable.

The rating affirmation of UBC reflects its consistent operating performance, large endowment, strong liquidity and modest debt burden. The ratings also take into account the university's strong market position, supported by robust student demand and extensive research activities.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) -- debt rating affirmed Aa1, stable.

The rating affirmation of SFU reflects the university's low and declining debt burden as well as its track record of consistent, stable operating performance. The Aa1 rating also reflects SFU's strong market position as a mid-sized comprehensive university experiencing continued strong student demand.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

City of Vancouver:

Stabilization of the outlook for the City of Vancouver's rating would require (i) the stabilization of the Province of British Columbia's rating outlook; and/or (ii) a sustained decline in the city's debt burden, particularly a significant decline in the debt burden related to the Olympic Village financing, along with continued fiscal discipline and ongoing improvements in the city's liquidity position. A downgrade of the Province of British Columbia's rating could lead to a downgrade of the City of Vancouver's rating.

Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia, South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University:

In the case of TransLink, UBC and SFU, while not expected in the near term, substantial improvements in the financial positions and creditworthiness of the entities could exert upward pressure on the ratings.

Any sector or issuer-specific risks causing a deterioration in an entity's financial position or creditworthiness would put downward pressure on the ratings.

The principal methodologies used for regional and local governments were: "The Application of Joint-Default Analysis to Regional and Local Governments", published in December 2008, and "Regional and Local Governments Outside the US", published in May 2008. The principal methodology used for government-related issuers was: "Government-Related Issuers: Methodology Update", published in July 2010. The principal methodologies used for universities were: "Government-Related Issuers: Methodology Update", published in July 2010, and "Methodology for Rating Public Universities", published August 2007. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The Global Scale Credit Ratings on this press release that are issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU are endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant 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 relevant 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 relevant 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.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

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.

Jennifer A. Wong
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Canada Inc.
70 York Street
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5J 1S9
Canada
(416) 214-1635

David Rubinoff
MD - Sub-Sovereigns
Sub-Sovereign Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Canada Inc.
70 York Street
Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5J 1S9
Canada
(416) 214-1635

Moody's announces rating impact on issuers linked to the Province of British Columbia
No Related Data.

 

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