First REIT - OCBC Investment 2018-05-25: A Balance Of Probabilities

First REIT - OCBC Investment 2018-05-25: A Balance Of Probabilities FIRST REAL ESTATE INV TRUST SGX: AW9U

First REIT - A Balance Of Probabilities

  • Sponsor’s liquidity still tight.
  • Reasons for PT Lippo Karawaci to retain substantial stake.
  • Unchanged Fair Value of S$1.48.

Lingering issues over at the sponsor

  • S&P has downgraded the credit rating of First REIT’s (FREIT) sponsor, PT Lippo Karawaci (LK), to ‘B-’ with negative outlook, citing concerns about the company’s thin liquidity buffer, especially in the face of substantial interest servicing needs.
  • First REIT’s recent results have also given us a glimpse of the downstream implication, as the level of receivables has been rising over the last few quarters, though this has not impacted First REIT’s ability to pay out regular DPUs as required.

Significant divestment by PT Lippo Karawaci unlikely

  • While there remains a possibility of PT Lippo Karawaci trimming its 28.1% stake in First REIT, which in itself is already a reduced stake from its 30.94% ownership back in end-FY17, we think that this is unlikely to go below 25% for two reasons.
    • Firstly, not only would this breach loan covenants, it would also create challenging conditions for both PT Lippo Karawaci and its subsidiary, Siloam Hospitals (Siloam), to conduct future sale of hospital assets to First REIT. Up till 1Q18, Siloam has been highlighting PT Lippo Karawaci’s cross-border asset-light strategy, and we think that it would be myopic to alter this structure significantly in order to meet short-term funding needs.
    • Secondly, we believe that PT Lippo Karawaci could be exploring more meaningful ways to improve its liquidity position, which, in S&P’s view, should involve asset sales exceeding IDR 3t to provide for ~2 years of cash flow requirements. Such levers could be in the form of a sale of Puri Mall for instance, which S&P estimates to be ~IDR 5 - 6t, though this might take some time. For perspective, PT Lippo Karawaci’s stake in First REIT is ~IDR 3.2t.

Cautiously optimistic

  • First REIT has recently successfully entered into a S$100m unsecured term loan at < 4% cost of debt for 6 months, with an option to extend for another 6 months. This facility is intended to refinance its S$100m 4.125% Fixed Rate Notes due on 22 May 2018. We believe management has taken this approach to give sufficient time for uncertainties to clear up before dipping back into the bond market again.
  • On balance, we remain cautiously optimistic that the balance of probabilities should remain in First REIT’s favour, and thus retain our fair value estimate of S$1.48.
  • Maintain BUY. 

Joseph Ng OCBC Investment | https://www.iocbc.com/ 2018-05-25
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY Maintain BUY 1.480 Same 1.480