Redefine earns good rating for debt service.

Posted On Thursday, 10 July 2003 02:00 Published by
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Property loan stock company has received a positive 'A -' senior rating on its ability to service debt and repay capital.
Property loan stock company Redefine Income Fund has received a positive "A -" senior rating on its ability to service debt and repay capital from international rating agency Fitch Ratings.

This long-term credit rating denotes a strong credit risk relative to other issuers or issues in the SA market.

Fitch Ratings said Redefine had grown rapidly through acquisition to become one of the largest players in the JSE Securities Exchange SA's real estate sector.

"Robust management of its property portfolio has resulted in almost 70% of rental income being earned from A grade commercial properties in the 2002 financial year, with the balance largely from B grade properties," said the ratings report.

"We're quite proud of it. We think it's excellent. Fitch were also pleasantly surprised that it came out as high as it did," said Redefine CEO Brian Azizollahoff yesterday.

At the top of Fitch's rating system is AAA, which denotes the strongest credit risk in the country. This is usually government debt on a national scale.

Next is AA, which includes the categories AA +, AA and AA -, which denotes a "very strong" credit risk.

SA's top banks fall within the AA range and in terms of their senior, secured debt, Redefine is only four notches below them.

Two other long-term national ratings were assigned to Redefine, namely senior unsecured debt and unsecured, subordinated debentures.

Fitch Ratings said Redefine was currently funded through a combination of long-term, secured, bank debt and unsecured debentures, the latter being subordinated to the company's other creditors.

It said Redefine did not have any senior, unsecured debt at present, but if it did it would have been given a BBB rating, which denoted an adequate credit risk relative to other issuers or issues in the same country.

Business Day

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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