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HYPROP INVESTMENTS LIMITED - Change in credit rating by Moody's
Change in credit rating by Moody's HYPROP INVESTMENTS LIMITED (Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa) (Registration number 1987/005284/06) JSE share code: HYP ISIN: ZAE000190724 JSE bond issuer code: HYPI (Approved as a REIT by the JSE) ("Hyprop" or "the Company") CHANGE IN CREDIT RATING BY MOODY'S Shareholders and holders of Hyprop's debt securities issued under its Domestic Medium-Term Note Programme are advised that Moody's Investor Services Inc (Moody's) has lowered the Company's credit rating from Ba1 to Ba2 with immediate effect. Concurrently, Moody's has lowered the long-term national scale issuer rating to A1.za from Aa3.za and has affirmed the short-term national scale rating of Prime-1.za. The rating action follows Moody's downgrade of South Africa's government issuer rating to Ba1 from Baa3 on 27 March 2020. The main reason cited by Moody's for the reduction in Hyprop's rating is the level of debt maturing in the next 12-18 months, in the context of a challenging operating environment, including the temporary closure of shopping centres as a result of the lock-down aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus, and dislocated credit markets. The majority of debt coming due in the next 12 months comprises $170 million of debt relating to Hyprop's assets in sub-Saharan Africa (Hyprop Mauritius and Ikeja City Mall in Nigeria) and EUR49m of non-recourse (to Hyprop) in-country asset backed finance relating to Hystead Limited, which is due in March 2021. Hyprop's preference is to settle all of its Dollar denominated debt from the proceeds on disposal of the Group's sub-Saharan Africa interests. Notwithstanding this, $97 million of this debt is in process of being refinanced by the current lender, in either Rands or Dollars. The Company is progressing the refinancing of a bond of R425 million which matures in July 2020. At the time the interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2019 were released, Hyprop intended to repay this bond from its available cash and bank facilities. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the Company's operations and on financial markets, Hyprop is in discussions with various parties to refinance the bond with a view to preserving available cash resources. On a positive note, Moody's recognised that over the last twelve months Hyprop was able to refinance its debt, demonstrating good access to banking markets. Although Hyprop satisfied its solvency and liquidity tests in February 2020, the Hyprop board resolved to pay the interim dividend (circa R790m) on or about 5 October 2020 in order to preserve cash. This will improve the Company's ability to weather the difficult conditions that are anticipated in the next few months as a result of Covid-19. The Company will continue managing its debt maturity profile and the impact of Covid-19 on its liquidity in a responsible and practical manner. Further updates will be provided when relevant. Moody's full report is available online at www.moodys.com. 9 April 2020 Sponsor Java Capital Date: 09-04-2020 08:50:00 Produced by the JSE SENS Department. The SENS service is an information dissemination service administered by the JSE Limited ('JSE'). The JSE does not, whether expressly, tacitly or implicitly, represent, warrant or in any way guarantee the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information published on SENS. The JSE, their officers, employees and agents accept no liability for (or in respect of) any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential loss or damage of any kind or nature, howsoever arising, from the use of SENS or the use of, or reliance on, information disseminated through SENS.