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Moody's changes NEPI Rockcastle's outlook, affirms issuer rating

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Moody's changes NEPI Rockcastle's outlook, affirms issuer rating

Moody's changed NEPI Rockcastle PLC's ratings outlook to stable from positive and affirmed its Baa3 long-term issuer rating.

The rating agency also affirmed NE Property Cooperatief UA's Baa3 senior unsecured rating.

The outlook change reflects Moody's view that the commercial property investment and development company needs to strengthen liquidity management to back its committed investments and other funding needs, said Roberto Pozzi, a Moody's senior vice president and lead analyst for NEPI. The company relies on monetizing its securities portfolio and its access to public debt markets, Pozzi added.

The issuer rating is supported by the quality of NEPI's shopping center portfolio, its geographical diversification across central and Eastern Europe and the favorable macroeconomic fundamentals across the region. The company's moderate debt metrics and its mainly unencumbered asset pool are also among some of the factors behind the long-term rating.

The agency expects NEPI to maintain broadly stable Moody's adjusted gross debt/total assets of about 35% over the next 12 months to 18 months, with EBITDA fixed charge coverage between 8.4x and 8.8x and net debt to EBITDA between 5.0x and 5.5x.