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Belgium-Based Insurer Ageas Group's Subordinated Notes Rated 'BBB+'

MILAN (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today assigned its 'BBB+' rating to the subordinated notes that Ageas SA/NV (Ageas; A/Stable/A-1) intends to issue. The notes will have a 30-year tenor and we understand they will be callable after 10 years. We derived the rating using our minimum notching for subordinated debt issues, which is two notches below the long-term issuer credit rating on Ageas. We have analyzed and rated the proposed debt issue on the understanding that: The note holders will be subordinated to senior creditors; Interest deferral can occur at the option of the issuer; Interest deferral is mandatory should the group be unable to continue meeting its minimum regulatory solvency capital requirements; and The notes will be eligible as tier 2 under Solvency II. We believe that Ageas will use the proceeds to strengthen the group's Solvency II regulatory capital buffer after its main operating subsidiary, AG Insuranc

China SCE Group's Proposed U.S. Dollar Senior Unsecured Notes Assigned 'B' Rating

HONG KONG (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today assigned its 'B' long-term issue rating to a proposed issue of U.S. dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes by China SCE Group Holdings Ltd. (CSCE: B+/Stable/--). The China-based developer intends to use the net proceeds mainly to refinance certain existing offshore indebtedness. The rating is subject to our review of the final issuance documentation. We rate the proposed senior unsecured notes one notch below the issuer credit rating on CSCE, reflecting significant structural subordination risk. At the end of December 2018, CSCE's capital structure consisted of Chinese renminbi (RMB) 20.6 billion of secured debt as well as RMB15.8 billion of unsecured debt (including guarantee to joint-controlled entities). As such, secured debt makes up about 57% of CSCE's total debt, which is above the 50% notching-down threshold for priority debt. We do not expect the new issuance to have

Jingrui Holdings Ltd.'s Proposed U.S. Dollar Senior Unsecured Notes Assigned 'B-' Rating

HONG KONG (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today assigned its 'B-' long-term issue rating to a proposed issue of U.S.-dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes by Jingrui Holdings Ltd. (B/Stable/--). The China-based developer will use the proceeds to refinance its existing debt and for general corporate purposes. The issue rating is subject to our review of the final issuance documentation. We rate the notes one notch lower than the issuer rating on Jingrui to reflect subordination risks because the proposed notes will rank behind a material amount of priority debt in the company's capital structure. As of Dec. 31, 2018, Jingrui's capital structure consisted of Chinese renminbi (RMB) 11.2 billion in secured debt, which is mainly at the subsidiary level, and RMB5.1 billion in offshore senior unsecured notes, as well as RMB2.4 billion in domestic corporate bonds. As such, its priority debt ratio was 73% as of December 2018, excee

Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction & Investment Outlook Revised To Negative; 'BBB' Rating Affirmed

In our view, Binhai New Area's countercyclical fiscal measures to weather an economic slowdown could lead to wider deficits and rising underlying debt burden relative to revenue. This will affect BHCI, which is the primary platform for key infrastructure investment and financing in the area. On April 1, 2019, S&P Global Ratings revised its rating outlook on BHCI to negative from stable. At the same time, we affirmed our 'BBB' long-term issuer credit rating on BHCI and our 'BBB' long-term issue rating on the company's guaranteed senior unsecured notes. This is to reflect the strong extraordinary support BHCI will receive from the Binhai government, if needed, over the next 12 months. HONG KONG (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019—S&P Global Ratings said that it has taken the rating actions listed above. We revised our outlook on Tianjin Binhai New Area Construction & Investment Group Co. Ltd. (BHCI) to negative to reflect our outlo

AEON Credit Service (Asia) Co. Ltd. Outlook Revised To Negative; Ratings Affirmed At 'BBB/A-2'

In our view, ACSA's immediate parent, AFS, would have less flexibility in managing the funding between its various subsidiaries under the group's new organization structure. AFS may increase its overall risk appetite toward its consumer financing business, undermining its overall risk profile. In our opinion, the creditworthiness of AFS and ACSA would still benefit from the group's stronger parent, AEON Co. Ltd. (BBB+/Negative/--), given their business ties and reputation. We are revising the rating outlook on ACSA to negative from stable due to AFS' weakening credit profile. The negative outlook reflects that on Aeon Co. Ltd. At the same time, we are affirming our 'BBB' long-term and 'A-2' short-term issuer credit ratings on ACSA. HONG KONG (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today revised the outlook on AEON Credit Service (Asia) Co. Ltd. (ACSA) to negative from stable. We also affirmed the 'BBB'

SGL Carbon SE's New €250 Million Secured Bond Due 2024 Rated 'B' (Recovery Rating: '2')

PARIS (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings said today that it assigned its 'B' issue rating and '2' recovery rating to the new €250 million secured bond due in 2024 issued by Germany-based graphite and carbon materials producer SGL Carbon SE. The '2' recovery rating reflects our expectation of about 70%-90% recovery on the proposed issue. We understand that SGL Carbon intends to use most of the proceeds from the notes issue to prefund the future repayment of its convertible bond due in 2020 and its €86 million automotive carbon fiber loan (loan agreements with BMW related to its SGL-BMW joint venture). ISSUE RATINGS RECOVERY ANALYSIS Key analytical factors The pro forma capital structure will include three debt instruments at the parent level: the first lien debt of €28 million of financial leases; the €250 million senior secured notes; and the €175 million senior credit facility. The issue rating on SGL Carbon

LafargeHolcim's Proposed Hybrid Securities Rated 'BB+' And Assessed As Having Intermediate Equity Content

Switzerland-based building materials maker LafargeHolcim intends to issue new subordinated securities of benchmark size. We assess the proposed securities as having intermediate equity content. We are assigning our 'BB+' issue rating to the proposed securities, reflecting their subordination and optional deferability. LONDON (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'BB+' long-term issue rating to the proposed new subordinated securities to be issued by Holcim Finance (Luxembourg) S.A., a 100% owned and controlled finance subsidiary of Switzerland-based building materials maker LafargeHolcim Ltd., which will guarantee the proposed notes. We understand LafargeHolcim intends to use the notes' proceeds to redeem existing debt and so improve the group's debt maturity profile, interest expense, and leverage ratios. Following this issuance, LafargeHolcim's ratio of outstanding hybrids to adjusted capitalization wil

Tianjin Infrastructure And Tianjin Rail Transit Group Outlook Revised To Negative; Ratings Affirmed

We see a risk that the Tianjin government's financial capacity to provide extraordinary support to Tianjin Infrastructure Construction & Investment Group Co. Ltd. (TJII) and Tianjin Rail Transit Group Co. Ltd. (TRT) could weaken over the next 12 months. The likelihood of these companies receiving extraordinary support from Tianjin in distressed scenarios remains almost certain. On April 1, 2019, S&P Global Ratings revised its rating outlook on TJII and TRT to negative from stable. We affirmed our 'BBB+' long-term issuer credit rating on TJII and our 'A-' long-term issuer credit rating on TRT. We also affirmed our 'BBB+' long-term issue rating on TJII's senior unsecured notes. The negative outlook reflects our view that Tianjin's ongoing structural economic and SOE reforms could pressure the city's growth prospects, budgetary deficit, and debt burden over the next 12 months. SINGAPORE (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019

La Trobe Financial Capital Markets Trust 2019-1 Nonconforming RMBS Assigned Preliminary Ratings

MELBOURNE (S&P Global Ratings) April 1, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today assigned its preliminary ratings to nine classes of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to be issued by Perpetual Corporate Trust Ltd. as trustee for La Trobe Financial Capital Markets Trust 2019-1 (see list). La Trobe Financial Capital Markets Trust 2019-1 is a securitization of nonconforming and prime residential mortgages originated by La Trobe Financial Services Pty Ltd. (La Trobe Financial). The preliminary ratings reflect: That the credit risk of the underlying collateral portfolio and the credit support provided to each class of notes are commensurate with the ratings assigned. Credit support is provided by subordination and excess spread. The credit support provided to the rated notes is sufficient to cover the assumed losses at the applicable rating stress. The assessment of credit risk takes into account La Trobe Financial's underwriting standards and approval process,

Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp. Series 2019A & 2019B Assigned Preliminary Ratings

Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.'s (KHESLC's) senior series 2019A and subordinate series 2019B bond issuance is an ABS transaction backed by private student loans originated under KHESLC's Advantage Education Loan Program and by student loans that are at least 97% reinsured by the U.S. federal government. We assigned our preliminary ratings to the class 2019A-1, 2019A-2, and 2019B-1 bonds from this transaction. The preliminary ratings reflect our view of the transaction's credit support, initial parity, and credit quality of the loans, among other factors. NEW YORK (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today assigned its preliminary ratings to Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.'s (KHESLC's) student loan revenue bonds senior series 2019A and subordinate series 2019B (see list). The bond issuance is an asset-backed securities transaction backed by private student loans originated under KHESLC's

Miami Beach GO Bonds Assigned 'AA+' Rating

CENTENNIAL (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AA+' long-term rating to the City of Miami Beach's 2019 general obligation (GO) bonds. At the same time, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'AA+' long-term rating on the city's GO bonds outstanding. The outlook is stable. With the proceeds the city plans to finance approximately $87.7 million in parks, recreational, and cultural facility capital projects, $36.9 million for public safety capital projects, and $28.4 million for neighborhood and infrastructure projects. The refunding portion of the bonds will refinance the city's 2003 GO bonds for debt service savings. "The 'AA+' long-term rating reflects our view of such factors as the city's very strong economy, management, budgetary flexibility, and liquidity, along with its strong budgetary performance," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Randy Layman. The stable outlook refl

Philomath, OR Full Faith And Credit Obligation Rating Raised To 'AA-' From 'A' On Strong Reserves

SAN FRANCISCO (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings raised its underlying rating to 'AA-' from 'A' on Philomath, Ore.'s previously issued full faith and credit obligations. The outlook is stable. "The rating action reflects our view of the city's sustained positive general fund net results, which have resulted in a significant strengthening in reserves during the past three fiscal years and reflect, in part, a willingness to increase revenue to maintain structural balance," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Chris Morgan. The stable outlook reflects our view that the city will continue to benefit from the revenue tailwinds of new development and will manage its expenditures such that its budgetary performance will be strong-to-very-strong through fiscal 2020 and that its available reserves will reach and exceed 30% of expenditures.

John Adams Academies Inc., CA Charter Revenue Bond Rating Lowered To 'BB' From 'BB+' On Significant Debt, Renewal Risk

SAN FRANCISCO (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings lowered its rating to 'BB' from 'BB+' on California Municipal Finance Authority's series 2014A, 2015A, and 2015B charter revenue bonds issued for John Adams Academies Inc. (JAA). The outlook is negative. "The downgrade reflects our view of the significant additional debt issued by JAA for the expansion of its third academy, JAA-El Dorado Hills," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Robert Tu." The negative outlook reflects our view of increased charter renewal risk based on feedback received from the charter authorizer," Mr. Tu added. Since our last review, JAA-Roseville received a notice of violation from its authorizer, Loomis Union School District (LUSD), regarding the school's academic underperformance relative to the local district, and its usage of state supplemental funds. We understand the school has 180 days to have a plan in place and

Irvington Township, N.J. GO Bond Underlying Rating On CreditWatch Negative On Lack Of Timely Information

WASHINGTON D.C. (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings placed its 'BBB' underlying rating on Irvington Township, N.J.'s general obligation (GO) bonds on CreditWatch with negative implications. We believe that there is uncertainty regarding the township's financial metrics due to lack of timely information. The potential impact of these uncertainties could hurt the township's financial performance. Therefore, we consider receipt of Irvington Township's 2017 audit necessary to maintain the rating. "This CreditWatch placement follows repeated attempts to obtain timely information of satisfactory quality to maintain our rating on the securities in accordance with our applicable criteria and policies," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Timothy Barrett. However, we base 'BBB+' long-term rating on the township's general improvement GO bonds on the strength of the state enhancement program establish

Waugh School District Community Facilities District 1 (Corona-Ely), CA Bond Rating Raised To 'AA' On Updated Methodology

CENTENNIAL (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings raised its underlying rating (SPUR) to 'AA' from 'A+' on Waugh School District Community Facilities District (CFD) No. 1 (Corona-Ely), Calif.'s series 2016 special tax refunding bonds. The outlook is stable. The upgrade reflects the application of our updated methodology "Special Assessment Debt," published April 2, 2018, on RatingsDirect, and our evaluation of a mature--albeit medium-sized--district with limited taxpayer concentration, able to withstand high levels of delinquency, and supported by a strong local economy. "The outlook reflects our expectation that the local economy and real estate market will remain stable in the near term, given the district's access to a broad and diverse MSA and very strong incomes, and low unemployment rates," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Daniel Pulter. "We further expect annual assessments to con

Two Sierra Timeshare 2016-1 Receivables Funding LLC Ratings Affirmed

Sierra Timeshare 2016-1 Receivables Funding LLC is an ABS transaction backed by timeshare loans. We affirmed our ratings on the class A and B notes. The affirmations reflect our view that the transaction's availability of credit support is sufficient at the current rating levels. NEW YORK (S&P Global Ratings) March 29, 2019--S&P Global Ratings today affirmed its ratings on the Sierra Timeshare 2016-1 Receivables Funding LLC class A and B notes. The note issuance is an asset-backed securities (ABS) transaction backed by timeshare loans originated by Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Worldmark by Wyndham and its affiliates. As of the March 20, 2019 distribution date: Series Class A Class B Pool Pool balance ($) balance($) balance ($) factor(%) 2016-1 66,135,541.77 17,960,187.41 94,345,221.37 19.72% The affirmations reflect the notes' ability to withstand our stress tests at the current ratings,

Spain's Autonomous Community of the Basque Country 'A+' Rating Affirmed; Outlook Positive

Spain's Autonomous Community of the Basque Country has posted better budgetary results in 2018 than we expected, having structurally improved its liquidity. High fiscal autonomy and sound financial management make the Basque Country more resilient than Spain in a stress scenario, and we therefore rate the region two notches higher than Spain. We are affirming our 'A+' long-term issuer credit rating on the Basque Country and maintaining our positive outlook. RATING ACTION On March 29, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'A+' long-term issuer credit rating on Spain's Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. The outlook remains positive. OUTLOOK The positive outlook on Basque Country reflects that on Spain (unsolicited A-/Positive/A-2). Upside scenario We could raise our rating on the Basque Country over the next 12 months if we raise our rating on Spain, assuming the region continues to meet our conditions to be rated above the sover

Saudi Arabia 'A-/A-2' Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Stable

We expect the Saudi government's expansionary budget will help boost economic growth. We forecast wider fiscal deficits, but expect Saudi Arabia will retain strong government and external balance sheets. We are affirming our 'A-/A-2' long- and short-term sovereign ratings on Saudi Arabia. The outlook remains stable. RATING ACTION On March 29, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'A-/A-2' unsolicited long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Saudi Arabia. The outlook is stable. OUTLOOK The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Saudi Arabia will maintain a pace of moderate economic growth and retain strong government and external balance sheets over the next two years, despite wider fiscal deficits. We could raise the ratings if Saudi Arabia's economic growth prospects improve beyond our current expectations, for example, as a result of a more diversified economy. We could lower our ratings if we o

Spain’s Autonomous Community of Navarre 'A+' Rating Affirmed; Outlook Positive

Navarre again posted surpluses after capital accounts in 2018, structurally improving its performance, in our view. We believe Navarre's high fiscal autonomy and sound financial management make it more resilient in a stress scenario than Spain; therefore we rate Navarre two notches higher than Spain. We are affirming our 'A+' long-term issuer credit rating on Navarre and maintaining our positive outlook. RATING ACTION On March 29, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'A+' long-term issuer credit rating on Spain's Autonomous Community of Navarre. The outlook is positive. OUTLOOK The positive outlook on Navarre reflects that on Spain. Upside scenario We could raise the rating on Navarre over the next 12 months if we raised our rating on Spain, assuming the region continued to meet our conditions to be rated above the sovereign and performed in line with our base-case scenario. Downside scenario We would revise the outlook to stable over

Spain's Historical Territory of Bizkaia 'A+/A-1' Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Positive

Bizkaia continues to perform in line with our base-case assumptions, which include balanced budgets or slight surpluses, and a gradual decline in debt burden ratios. In our view, Bizkaia's high fiscal autonomy and strong financial management make it more resilient than Spain in a sovereign stress scenario. We consequently rate Bizkaia two notches higher than Spain. We are therefore affirming our 'A+/A-1' long- and short-term ratings on Bizkaia. The outlook remains positive. RATING ACTION On March 29, 2019, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'A+/A-1' long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on Spain's Historical Territory of Bizkaia. The outlook is positive. OUTLOOK The positive outlook on Bizkaia reflects that on Spain. Upside scenario We would upgrade Bizkaia by one notch over the next 12 months if we upgraded Spain by one notch, and, all other things remaining equal, the province continued to perform in line with our current base case.

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