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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Singapore Power to Aa1 and upgrades its BCA to a2; outlook stable

15 Sep 2021

Singapore, September 15, 2021 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded Singapore Power Limited's (SP) issuer rating to Aa1 from Aa2. At the same time, Moody's has upgraded the company's Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) to a2 from a3.

Moody's has also upgraded the senior unsecured ratings of SP PowerAssets Limited (SPPA), as well as the backed senior unsecured ratings of SP Group Treasury Pte. Ltd. (SPGT) to Aa1 from Aa2.

The outlook on all ratings remains stable. A full list of the affected ratings can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The upgrades reflect the conclusion of the regulatory reset for the Singapore regulated transmission and distribution businesses, which underpins SP's credit profile. The reset provides certainty that SP will maintain strong financial metrics for the remainder of the current five-year regulatory period that started on 1 April 2020," says Ray Tay, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

Although the regulator lowered the regulated return for SP's regulated businesses in Singapore for the remaining four years of the current reset period, the decrease was smaller than Moody's original expectations. As such, Moody's projects that SP's credit metrics would be appropriate for the higher BCA. For example, debt/capitalization would remain low during the remaining regulatory period, below 42%, and funds from average operations (FFO)/debt will range from 15% to 20%. The projected metrics take into account the debt and capital spending of SP's Australian operations on a pro rata basis.

SP's Aa1 issuer rating considers the company's BCA of a2 and a four-notch uplift based on Moody's Joint Default Analysis approach for government-related issuers. This approach assumes a very high level of support from the Singapore government (Aaa stable) — through SP's parent, Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (Aaa stable) — in a stress situation, given Temasek's status as Singapore's sovereign wealth fund.

SP's BCA reflects its strategic importance to Singapore's electricity sector as the monopoly transmission and distribution (T&D) operator. SP's overall credit quality is further underpinned by its strong financial profile resulting from the very stable and predictable cash flows, particularly from its regulated assets in Singapore. The BCA also factors in the incremental funding needs arising from SP's capital expenditure (capex) program. The program factors in opportunistic expansion in the "Sustainable Energy Solutions" segment, a term which SP uses to denote investments in renewable energy, district cooling, building efficiency and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, for example. Although such investments can take place in other countries, Moody's does not expect this new segment to fundamentally alter SP's strong credit profile, given the nascent stage of development, and therefore, limited scale.

Moody's rates the Singapore government's (Aaa stable) willingness to support SP in times of need as "very high," reflecting the company's role in managing and operating the country's only electricity T&D network. In addition, Moody's assessment of dependence is "high" because of the high correlation between the credit profiles of SP and Singapore.

Moody's views SPPA's rating as closely linked to SP's rating, because as a fully owned subsidiary of SP, SPPA is likely to receive support from the Singapore government through SP.

SPGT's medium-term note (MTN) program is unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by SP. SP's obligations under the guarantee will rank at least pari passu with all of its other present and future unsubordinated and unsecured obligations. As such, the ratings of SPGT are in line with SP's Aa1 issuer rating.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that SP will maintain strong financial metrics and that capex in unregulated businesses will not materially affect risk profile. The outlook also assumes that the upcoming regulatory resets for the Australian operations are within our expectations.

Moody's could upgrade SP's BCA and therefore the ratings of SP, SPPA and SPGT during the next 12 to 18 months if: (1) the regulatory framework remains supportive of SP; and (2) SP's capex plans do not weaken its credit profile.

Specifically, Moody's could upgrade the ratings if SP's adjusted FFO/debt is at least 23%-25% on a consistent basis. The calculation of the metrics takes into account the debt and capital spending of its Australian operations on a pro rata basis.

SPPA and SPGT's ratings are closely linked to that of SP, such that their ratings will be upgraded if SP's rating is upgraded.

Moody's could downgrade SP's issuer rating if (1) the company pursues an aggressive debt-funded expansion or capital spending program that introduces additional regulatory or operational risks, or (2) its financial performance deteriorates, such that its BCA weakens, with FFO/debt falling below 14%-15% on a sustained basis.

Furthermore, a change in Moody's assessment of the expected level of support from Temasek, or a partial privatization of SP or its wholly owned subsidiary, SPPA, or both, could also pressure the rating, as it would negatively affect the support level under Moody's Joint Default Analysis approach and the resultant rating uplift.

A downgrade of SP's rating will also trigger a downgrade of SPPA's and SPGT's ratings.

The principal methodologies used in rating Singapore Power Limited were Regulated Electric and Gas Utilities published in June 2017 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1072530, and Government-Related Issuers Methodology published in February 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1186207. The principal methodology used in rating SP Group Treasury Pte. Ltd. was Regulated Electric and Gas Utilities published in June 2017 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1072530. The principal methodology used in rating SP PowerAssets Limited was Regulated Electric and Gas Networks published in March 2017 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1059225. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Singapore Power Limited (SP) is fully owned by Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, which is a sovereign wealth fund of the Singapore government.

SP owns and manages Singapore's only electricity transmission and distribution network through its fully owned subsidiaries, SP PowerAssets Limited (SPPA) and SP Cross Island Tunnel Trust — the owners of the assets — and SP PowerGrid Ltd, which is the operator of the assets. Through its fully owned subsidiaries, SP also owns and manages Singapore's gas transmission and distribution network and provides market-support services.

In addition, SP has a 32.74% stake in AusNet Services Holdings Pty Ltd (A3 stable), which is an infrastructure entity listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, and includes: (1) AusNet Services (Transmission) Ltd; (2) AusNet Services (Distribution) Ltd; and (3) AusNet Services Finance Trust.

SP's second Australian transmission and distribution business is through its 40% stake in SGSP (Australia) Assets Pty Ltd (A3 stable), which is an electricity and gas infrastructure entity. SGSP (Australia) Assets' key assets include a gas distribution network in the Australian state of New South Wales, an electricity distribution network in the Australian state of Victoria, a 50% interest in ActewAGL's distribution businesses, and a 34% minority interest in United Energy Distribution.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Singapore Power Limited

.... Long-term Issuer Rating (Foreign Currency), Upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2

Outlook Action:

....Outlook, remains Stable

Issuer: SP PowerAssets Limited

.... Long-term Issuer Rating (Local Currency), Upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2

.... Long-term Senior Unsecured MTN Programme (Local Currency), Upgraded to (P)Aa1 from (P)Aa2

.... Long-term Senior Unsecured Debt (Foreign and Local Currency), Upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2

Outlook Action:

....Outlook, remains Stable

Issuer: SP Group Treasury Pte. Ltd.

.... Long-term Backed Senior Unsecured MTN Programme (Foreign and Local Currency), Upgraded to (P)Aa1 from (P)Aa2

.... Long-term Backed Senior Unsecured Debt (Foreign Currency), Upgraded to Aa1 from Aa2

Outlook Action:

....Outlook, remains Stable

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

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.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

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

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1288435.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, 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 issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

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.

Ray Tay
Senior Vice President
Project & Infrastructure Finance
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Ian Lewis
Associate Managing Director
Project & Infrastructure Finance
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 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
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
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