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Moody's affirms Hammerson ratings, revises outlook

Moody's affirmed Hammerson Plc's Baa1 long-term issuer rating and senior unsecured domestic and foreign currency bond ratings, while revising the outlook on the ratings to stable from negative.

Moody's attributed the change in outlook to Hammerson's operating performance, which has remained stable since the U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union, or Brexit, in June 2016.

The rating agency cited the company's reduced leverage as another factor in the stabilization of the outlook. Hammerson's improved leverage was driven in large part by asset dispositions concluded in the second half of 2016, Moody's said.

In a note, Moody's said that these positive factors were partially offset by Hammerson's increased reliance on joint ventures, an improving but low fixed charge coverage and uncertainty surrounding the U.K. property market.