Published on 08 Nov 2019.
RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the enhanced ratings of Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd’s (the Company) Guaranteed MTN Programme, as follows:
Danajamin Nasional Berhad
Malayan Banking Berhad
The enhanced ratings reflect irrevocable and unconditional guarantees from AAA-rated Danajamin Nasional Berhad and Malayan Banking Berhad, which enhance the credit standing of the debt issues beyond Impian Ekspresi’s stand-alone credit strength.
Excluding the guarantees, Impian Ekspresi’s ability to service its debt obligations depends on the timely completion and take-up of the Pavilion Damansara Heights mixed development (the Project), which the Company is developing. The Project’s construction progress has been hampered by changes in development plans and complex demolition work, which have delayed the targeted completion date to 4Q 2021. Nonetheless, Pavilion Damansara Heights’ construction and execution risks are envisaged to be manageable as construction is under the purview of WCT Holdings Berhad, a reputable contractor. The Project’s basement and building superstructure are currently under construction.
Impian Ekspresi is redeveloping the former DTC Complex as Pavilion Damansara Heights. The Project will constitute nine commercial towers, three residential towers and a retail component with eight levels of basement carpark. The Company’s majority shareholder, Tan Sri Desmond Lim, is also the executive chairman of WCT Holdings Berhad, the non-executive chairman of Malton Berhad, and the chairman and executive director of Pavilion REIT Management Sdn Bhd.
Given that Pavilion Damansara Heights is Impian Ekspresi’s only project, timely completion and take-up of the Project are imperative to the Company’s ability to service its debt obligations. Despite the challenging property market, the Project has received encouraging response to its respective components. Almost all nine office towers on offer have been sold. Of the seven towers that have been sold en bloc, six have signed sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) while one is in the process of signing. Of the remaining office towers (sold with strata titles), all units have been taken up except for three floors in one of them. Impian Ekspresi launched its third residential tower in 1Q 2019. About 47.1% of its three residential towers have been sold while 15.5% of the 1,314 units launched have received bookings. Meanwhile, 46.8% of the mall’s net lettable area has been leased out.
Impian Ekspresi’s capital structure remained highly leveraged as at end-July 2019, with a gearing ratio of 1.35 times and net gearing ratio of 1.07 times. Moving forward, its leverage is expected to ease as sales proceeds will be used to pare down its debts. Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon, who holds a majority stake in the Company, has extended an irrevocable and unconditional undertaking to the guarantors of the MTN, to ensure that Impian Ekspresi has sufficient funds to complete the Project and cover any cost overrun. The Company will roll over the RM75 mil tranche of MTN maturing in November 2019.
All said, Pavilion Damansara Heights is anticipated to benefit from its prestigious address, which boasts excellent visibility and accessibility. The Project is also envisaged to gain from its experienced project team, largely comprising personnel from Malton Group and Pavilion REIT.
Thong Mun Wai
(603) 3385 2522
(603) 3385 2577
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