RCR gets Triple-A, investment-grade rating

Published September 17, 2021, 5:10 PM

by James A. Loyola

RCR gets Triple-A, investment-grade rating

RL Commercial REIT, Inc. (RCR), the Philippines’ largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) to date, has receiived the highest Issuer Credit Rating of PRS Aaa (corp.), with a Stable Outlook from Philippine Rating Services Corporation (PhilRatings).

An Issuer Credit Rating is an opinion on the general and overall creditworthiness of the issuer, evaluating its ability to meet all its financial obligations within a time horizon of one year.

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A company rated PRS Aaa (corp.) has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments relative to that of other Philippine corporates. A Stable Outlook means the rating is likely to be maintained or to remain unchanged in the next 12 months.

PhilRatings said RCR’s rating and outlook were assigned considering that it is the largest REIT in the Philippines, with a portfolio of high-quality, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-accredited properties and quality tenant base.

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Also factored in was the firm’s experienced management team, coupled with the solid backing of the Sponsor, Robinsons Land Corporation, one of the leading property developers in the country.

PhilRatings also noted the properties’ solid financial track record, which was sustained even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and its zero leverage status which gives the Company more flexibility in sourcing funds for its expansion.

The investment-grade Issuer Credit Rating assigned to RCR will increase its leverage limit from 35 percent to 70 percent of the total value of its deposited property, according to the REIT Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

RLC’s Bridgetowne

RCR’s portfolio consists of 14 high-quality properties with PEZA accreditation, located across major central business districts (CBDs) in Metro Manila including in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas, Quezon City, and Mandaluyong, as well as in key cities of Naga, Tarlac, Cebu, and Davao.

The portfolio has a total gross leasable area (GLA) of 425,315 square meters (sqm) and a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 4.3 years determined based on the total GLA as of June 30, 2021.

RCR intends to maintain a high occupancy rate by targeting a diversified tenant base, with an emphasis on tenants primarily engaged in providing essential services, such as information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) or more commonly known as the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Such tenants generally secure stable occupancy and income from operations. By sector, the IT-BPM sector is the REIT’s largest tenant, comprising 68.3 percent of the total portfolio GLA.

RCR’s properties have shown resiliency since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. All buildings have remained open and operational in the course of the pandemic.

Tenants continued to operate in some capacity during the various community quarantine measures. Likewise, office tenants have continued to pay their rent, and there were no rental abatements granted to them during the community quarantines.

 
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