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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns Ba3 to Wanda Properties' proposed USD notes

20 Jan 2020

Hong Kong, January 20, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba3 senior unsecured rating to the proposed notes to be issued by Wanda Properties Overseas Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanda Commercial Properties (Hong Kong) Co. Limited (Wanda HK, Ba3 stable).

The proposed notes will be guaranteed by Wanda HK, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., Ltd. (DWCM, Ba1 stable). Wanda HK and its parent are together known as Dalian Wanda Group.

The proposed notes will also be supported by a deed of equity interest purchase undertaking and a keepwell deed between DWCM, Wanda HK, Wanda Properties Overseas Limited and the bond trustee.

The note proceeds will be used mainly to refinance Dalian Wanda Group's existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The proposed note issuance will slightly lengthen Dalian Wanda Group's debt maturity profile without materially affecting the two companies' credit metrics, because they plan to use the proceeds mainly to refinance existing debt," says Kaven Tsang, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

Wanda HK's Ba3 corporate family rating (CFR) incorporates the company's standalone credit profile and a two-notch uplift, reflecting Moody's expectation that DWCM will provide financial support to Wanda HK in times of need.

Moody's assumption of support reflects (1) Wanda HK's 100% ownership by DWCM and the parent's management control over the company; (2) Wanda HK's role as the primary platform for DWCM's offshore funding and international expansion; and (3) the parent's track record of extending support to Wanda HK's offshore financing, through deeds of equity interest purchase undertakings and keepwell deeds for its bonds, guarantees to its bank loans, and funding for its debt repayment.

Wanda HK's standalone credit profile reflects its small scale, weak credit metrics and thin equity base, given its role as the group's core platform for offshore funding and overseas investment. These risks are partly mitigated by the fact that the company's operations and financial management are directly controlled and managed by DWCM.

The stable outlook on Wanda HK's rating primarily reflects Moody's expectation that DWCM will provide financial support to Wanda HK in times of stress, given the close links between the two companies.

Moody's also expects that DWCM will have the ability to provide support, if needed, as reflected by its Ba1 CFR.

DWCM's Ba1 CFR reflects its strong brand and track record of developing and managing commercial properties in China. The CFR also considers its declining business risk, given that by the end of 2019 the company had exited the more volatile residential property development business.

Additionally, the Ba1 CFR reflects the execution risks associated with DWCM's transformation into an asset-light business model. This risk is partly mitigated by its strong cash position and high recurring income, which provide a healthy financial buffer.

Moody's expects DWCM's debt/EBITDA will rise to 5.5x-6.5x over the next 12-18 months from 5.6x for the 12 months ended 30 June 2019, while EBIT/interest should be at 3.0x-3.5x from 3.2x. The projected metrics are appropriate for its Ba1 CFR.

In terms of environmental, social and governance factors, the Ba1 CFR also considers DWCM's corporate governance and transparency, given its private company status. This risk is partly mitigated by the presence of independent directors and reputable shareholders, such as Tencent Holdings Limited (A1 stable) and other investors, who appoint their representatives to the board of directors to balance the interests of the shareholders, creditors and other stakeholders.

DWCM's liquidity is adequate. As of 30 September 2019, DWCM's RMB60.1 billion in cash on hand could fully cover its RMB43.3 billion in short-term debt. Moody's expects that over the next 12 months, DWCM's cash and operating cash flow will be sufficient to cover its short-term debt, committed land payments and capital spending.

DWCM's stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that the company will maintain stable financial metrics and have adequate cash resources to support its operating and refinancing needs.

The Ba3 senior unsecured rating of the proposed notes reflects Moody's expectation that DWCM will provide financial support by honoring its obligations under the deed of equity interest purchase undertaking and keepwell deed rather than through a payment guarantee.

The Ba3 senior unsecured rating is also unaffected by subordination to claims at the operating companies because Moody's expects support from DWCM to flow through the holding company rather than directly to the main operating companies; thereby mitigating any differences in expected loss that could result from structural subordination.

Upward pressure on Wanda HK's CFR and on the senior unsecured ratings of its guaranteed bonds could develop if (1) Moody's upgrades DWCM's CFR, and (2) the company maintains its strategic and economic importance to the parent.

However, a downgrade of DWCM's CFR will result in a downgrade of Wanda HK's CFR and the ratings of its guaranteed bonds.

Furthermore, Wanda HK's rating could face downgrade pressure if its standalone credit profile deteriorates, or if there is a reduction in (1) the level of ownership by DWCM, or (2) the strategic and economic importance of the company to DWCM.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Homebuilding And Property Development Industry published in January 2018. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Wanda Commercial Properties (Hong Kong) Co. Limited was incorporated on 6 February 2013 as the sole offshore funding and investment platform for Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., Ltd. It is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., Ltd.

Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., Ltd. develops, operates and sells integrated properties — including shopping malls, offices, residential houses, and hotels — in China. As of 30 June 2019, the company operated 289 Wanda Plaza retail malls across more than 160 cities in China.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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.

Moody's considers a rated entity or its agent(s) to be participating when it maintains an overall relationship with Moody's. Unless noted in the Regulatory Disclosures as a Non-Participating Entity, the rated entity is participating and the rated entity or its agent(s) generally provides Moody's with information for the purposes of its ratings process. Please refer to www.moodys.com for the Regulatory Disclosures for each credit rating action under the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page and for details of Moody's Policy for Designating Non-Participating Rated Entities.

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.

The first name below is the lead rating analyst for this Credit Rating and the last name below is the person primarily responsible for approving this Credit Rating.

Kaven Tsang
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Franco Leung
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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