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S&P revises outlooks on UK social housing providers

S&P Global Ratings revised its outlooks on multiple U.K.-based social housing providers and housing associations based on its revised outlook on the U.K.'s unsolicited long-term sovereign credit ratings to stable from negative.

Ratings affirmed its A+ long-term issuer credit rating on Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Ltd. and revised its outlook to stable from negative. Ratings believes there is a moderately high likelihood of the company receiving extraordinary support from the U.K. government if required.

Accent Group Ltd.'s outlook was revised to stable from negative and its A+ long-term issuer credit rating. Ratings noted the company's strong enterprise profile, underpinned by its view of the social housing industry as low risk.

Ratings revised Gentoo Group Ltd.'s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed its A- long-term issuer credit rating. Ratings noted that it believes there is a moderately high likelihood of the company receiving a timely and sufficient extraordinary support from the U.K. government in case of financial distress.

Plymouth Community Homes Ltd.'s outlook was revised to stable from negative and its A+ long-term issuer credit rating was affirmed. Ratings also noted that Plymouth is likely to be aided by the government in case of financial distress owing to its important role for the government's public policy mandate.

Bromford Housing Group Ltd.'s outlook was revised to stable from negative and its A+ long-term issuer credit rating was affirmed. Ratings noted Bromford's strong financial profile following its mergers with Merlin Housing Society in July 2018 and Severn Vale Housing Association in January 2019, and the improved liquidity of the combined entity.

Stonewater Ltd.'s outlook was also revised to stable from negative and its A+ long-term issuer credit rating was affirmed. Ratings also expects Stonewater to receive government support in the event of financial distress owing to its important role in the government's public policy mandate of providing affordable housing.

Aster Group Ltd.'s outlook was revised to stable from negative and its A+ long-term issuer credit rating was affirmed. Ratings said it believes Aster's management is experienced in the sector and risk averse regarding its portfolio, although the company's gradual transition to more sales activities weighs negatively on its assessment.

Separately, the rating agency affirmed its A+ long-term issuer credit rating on Karbon Homes Ltd., with a negative outlook, which factors in Ratings' opinion that U.K.-based social housing association's limited financial flexibility may weigh on its financial performance, resulting in higher debt or a weaker liquidity position than expected in its base case.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.