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Moody's affirms InRetail Shopping Malls rating, changes outlook

Moody's affirmed its senior unsecured debt rating on Peruvian real estate investment trust InRetail Shopping Malls at Ba2 and revised the outlook to stable from negative.

The rating affirmation and outlook revision considered the company's credit strengths as Peru's largest mall operator, its stable cash flows and solid margins, and its financial flexibility gained through a large unencumbered asset pool and a solid fixed charge coverage ratio. These are balanced against IRSM's elevated leverage levels, specifically its net debt to EBITDA ratio, and its small size in terms of both its gross assets and its limited access to diverse sources of capital relative to international mall peers.

The rating agency also considered the company's dependency on cash flow from operations and bank loans as its primary sources of liquidity, its asset and tenant concentration risk due to the portfolio's composition, and turbulent political conditions dampening the business investment.

EBITDA margins continue to remain in the mid- to high-70% range of total revenue and the portfolio's occupancy remains strong at 96%, excluding one property. Moody's said the company should be well-positioned to benefit from Peru's healthy retail environment as total sales are forecast to grow approximately 5% to 6% in 2019-20.

Moody's stable outlook reflects its expectation that InRetail will keep its net debt to EBITDA ratio close to or below 5.0x, and that it will maintain credit factors at a minimum level while keeping the quality of the portfolio at current levels.

The rating agency said an upward rating movement is unlikely in the near-term.