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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction's bond rating to Baa1; outlook stable

 The document has been translated in other languages

04 Jul 2017

NOTE: On July 7, 2017 the Press Release was corrected as follows: In the headline, the entity is replaced with Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction.

Hong Kong, July 04, 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service has upgraded to Baa1 from Baa2 the backed senior unsecured rating of the existing USD bonds issued by Zhaohai Investment (BVI) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction & Investment Group Co., Ltd. (TBCI).

These bonds include the USD300 million 3.10% bonds due in 2018 and the USD500 million 4.00% bonds due in 2020.

At the same time, Moody's has affirmed TBCI's Baa1 issuer rating.

The outlook for all ratings is stable.

On 3 July 2017, TBCI announced that its bondholders had consented to replacing the keepwell and liquidity support deed and the deed of equity interest purchase (collectively called the "keepwell deed and EIPU") with a deed of guarantee provided by TBCI.

Meanwhile, the bondholders have also waived the breach of certain covenants by the previous guarantor, Binhai Jiantou (Hong Kong) Development Ltd. and removed the financial covenants thereafter.

The effectiveness of the above is subject to the execution of certain documents.

TBCI also said it has completed the registration with SAFE for the deed of guarantee.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"The change to guarantee from the keepwell structure has enhanced the credit quality of the bonds with a stronger form of support, because the guarantee has a closer linkage to TBCI in relation to the repayment of the bonds," says Franco Leung, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

As a result, Moody's now rates TBCI's guaranteed USD notes at the same level as TBCI's Baa1 issuer rating.

Moody's has affirmed TBCI's Baa1 issuer rating as Moody's does not expect that the amendments will change the company's financial policies and profile to an extent that will affect its issuer rating, and its close linkage with the Binhai government and the Tianjin government remains unchanged.

The Baa1 issuer rating of TBCI reflects the very close ties between the company and the Tianjin Municipal People's Government, given the government's full ownership of TBCI and the strong oversight implemented by the government, and its public policy mandate of urban and infrastructure development in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin (Binhai Government) and its very restrained focus on commercial operations.

On the other hand, TBCI's BCA is constrained by its high geographic concentration in the Binhai New Area and its weak profitability and cash flow generation capability.

The rating also considers the absence of a direct guarantee from the Tianjin Government, the evolving policy framework in China for local government financing vehicle (LGFV) debt, and the general opacity around the framework for government support in times of urgent need. These factors have resulted in a rating that is lower than what it might be otherwise.

The stable outlook reflects our expectations over the next 12-18 months that 1) the municipal government's ability for support will remain intact, as reflected in the stable outlook on the China's sovereign rating ; 2) its significant public policy role and close linkage with the municipal government will remain largely unchanged; and (3) the company's BCA will remain appropriately positioned at its current level.

The rating could be updated if (1) the municipal government's ability to offer support strengthens, which could be evidenced by an upgrade of China's sovereign rating; (2) the company's public policy role is materially enhanced; and/or (2) its BCA improves significantly.

The rating could be downgraded if (1) the municipal government's ability to offer support weakens, which could be evidenced by a downgrade of the sovereign rating and/or a significant weakening in the municipal government's credit profile; (2) there is a weakening in the municipal government's willingness to offer support, as evidenced by a meaningful decline in its stake in the company, a significant reduction in the company's key public policy role, or an aggressive expansion in its commercial activities; (3) the policy framework for local government finances evolves in a manner that increases the risk that TBCI's debt will not be supported by the Tianjin Government; or (4) TBCI's BCA weakens significantly.

Moreover, the bond ratings for Zhaohai Investment (BVI) will be downgraded if TBCI's rating is downgraded or it issues more bonds to support the commercial operations of TBCI, as this would weaken its strategic linkage with the municipal government.

The methodologies used in these ratings were Business and Consumer Service Industry published in October 2016, and Government-Related Issuers published in October 2014. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Established in 2006, Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction & Investment Group Co., Ltd. is an investment and financing platform incorporated in Tianjin. It is wholly owned by the Tianjin State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and operates under the supervision of the Tianjin Binhai New Area Government.

TBCI operates in accordance with the general development plan for the Binhai New Area, and its operations include the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, construction of civil projects, environmental protection and clean energy, regional development and construction, and other ancillary businesses, such as materials trading and asset management.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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

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.

Franco Leung
VP - Senior Credit Officer
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

Gary Lau
MD - Corporate Finance
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.
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