Starhill Global REIT Downgraded To BBB

Three years ago, I wrote about Soilbuild Business Space REIT being given a Baa3 credit rating by Moody’s. (Read more: What is meant by Baa3?) Today, I receive an email notification that Starhill Global REIT has been downgraded from a credit rating of ‘BBB+’ to ‘BBB’ by Standard & Poors (S&P). This is an indication that something isn’t right even though it is not a recommendation to buy or sell.

My wife currently held 9% of Starhill Global REIT in her stock portfolio. In FY2019, Distribution Per Unit (DPU) declined 1.5% from 4.55 cents in FY18 to 4.48 cents in FY19.

Here are a few noteworthy points from the S&P report:

  • Starhill Global REIT is facing pressure in rent reversions in its key Singapore assets amid weakened economic conditions.
  • Funds from operations (FFO) to debt to decline to 7.6%-7.8% in fiscals 2020 and 2021.
  • Ngee Ann City’s master tenant’s rent review in June 2019 resulted in rents remaining flat (Read more: Starhill Global REIT Decides Not To Increase Toshin New Base Rent)
  • Contributions from Starhill Global REIT’s Australia assets were weighed down by the depreciation of the Australian dollar against the Singapore dollar.
  • Starhill Global REIT is performing AEI on Starhill Gallery Mall in Malaysia. The rental rebates agreed by Starhill Global REIT will weigh down rental performance at these assets.

The outlook doesn’t seem good which might place further pressure on the Distribution Per Unit (DPU).