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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades AIMS AMP IReit to Ba1; outlook stable

02 Sep 2011

Singapore, September 02, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT's ("AIMSAMPIReit) corporate family rating to Ba1 from Ba2.

The rating outlook is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The upgrade reflects AIMSAMPIReit's demonstration of prudence in managing its capital structure and in its expansion strategy after a major corporate restructuring in late 2009," says Alvin Tan, a Moody's Analyst.

Over the past year, the trust has adopted a "reconstitution" strategy for its portfolio, and through which it has divested properties that have reached the optimal stages of their life cycles. Moreover, the trust can reinvest sales proceeds into assets which have potential for value enhancement.

In 2010, AIMSAMPIReit sold 23 Changi South, Singapore and Asahi Ohmiya Warehouse, Japan, and acquired 27 Penjuru Lane and 29 Woodlands Industrial Park E1, both situated in Singapore. The two acquisitions were funded via a debt/equity mix to maintain a conservative gearing level. As a result of these transactions, the trust's property size increased to S$853 million as of 30 June 2011 from S$566 million in December 2009.

More recently, the trust also announced plans to redevelop 20 Gul Way into a five-storey ramp up industrial property to improve its asset quality and maximize use of existing land. The redevelopment is set to complete in 2 separate phases over 2.5 years.

"After recent acquisitions, and after incorporating the redevelopment project into Moody's projections, the trust's Debt/Total Assets could gradually increase to approximately 40% through until FY2014, although it still targets its longer-term gearing at 30-40%. Such levels, with projected debt/EBITDA of below 6.5x and EBITDA/Interest coverage of over 4x over the same period, position it well within the Ba1 rating," says Tan.

While AIMSAMPIReit's current financial profile could weaken -- as it seeks to grow its portfolio -- the upgrade factors in the cushion available for further acquisitions, as well as the trust's plan to maintain its gearing below the targeted 40%.

Although the trust's portfolio remains small, the properties are seasoned, well-maintained and in close proximity to major road networks, as well as airports, seaports and key industrial belts, as evidenced by high occupancies and strong, predictable cash flows.

"The presence of AMP Capital Investors as a joint sponsor has also enabled AIMSAMPIReit to broaden its banking relationships, and gain access to bank financing, as it seeks funding to grow its portfolio and refinance its debts. Therefore, the trust has also been able to extend its debt maturities and obtain more favorable financing terms for its bank loans," adds Tan.

Accordingly, AIMSAMPIReit has no major near-term refinancing needs until October 2013.

The Ba1 rating further reflects its small operating scale, as well as its geographic and tenant concentration. It also reflects its limited financial flexibility, given its high level of encumbered assets.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that AIMSAMPIReit will maintain a prudent capital structure while it expands, such that adjust debt/total assets is maintained below 40% over time.

The rating may experience upward pressure if (1) AIMSAMPIReit's sponsors further demonstrates its support for the trust by providing access to their property pipelines and improves the trusts access to funds; (2) it substantially expands its business scale to S$1.5-2.0 billion in total assets, while not materially deteriorating its current credit metrics; (3) it further diversifies its portfolio across the industrial property sector, which includes business parks and hi-tech space; and (4) it improves on its financial flexibility by further broadening its banking relationships and increasing the level of unencumbered assets in its portfolio.

The rating may experience downward pressure if (1) its operating environment deteriorates, such that it suffers high vacancy rates and a decline in rentals and operating cash flows, and/or financial metrics with Debt/EBITDA exceeding 8x, Debt/Total Assets above 40%, and EBITDA/interest coverage below 3x on a consistent basis; (2) further acquisitions are made without committed funding in place; and (3) a more aggressive growth policy is undertaken to fund new investments.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Moody's Approach for REITs and Other Commercial Property Firms published in July 2010. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Headquartered in Singapore, AIMSAMPIReit is a real estate investment trust that owns and invests in industrial properties. The company reported investment property assets of approximately S$853 million as of June 30, 2011.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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.

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

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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.

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Singapore
Alvin Tan
Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Singapore
Philipp L. Lotter
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
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JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Moody's upgrades AIMS AMP IReit to Ba1; outlook stable
No Related Data.
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