Published on 10 Dec 2021.
RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the enhanced ratings of Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd’s (the Company) RM450 mil Guaranteed Medium-Term Notes (MTN) Programme as follows:
Danajamin Nasional Berhad
Malayan Banking Berhad
The enhanced ratings reflect irrevocable and unconditional guarantees from AAA-rated Danajamin and Maybank, which enhance the credit standing of the debt issues beyond Impian Ekspresi’s standalone credit strength.
Excluding the guarantees, Impian Ekspresi’s ability to service its debt obligations depends on the timely completion and take-up of Pavilion Damansara Heights (the Project), which the Company is developing. Construction progress has been hindered by changes in development plans, a delay in the approval of the development order, the complexity of demolition work and, more recently, disruptions from Covid-19 infections and lockdowns. Construction and execution risks are expected to be kept manageable in view of the track record of the reputable contractor for the Project, WCT Holdings Berhad.
Impian Ekspresi is redeveloping the site of the former DTC Complex into Pavilion Damansara Heights, an integrated development. The Project comprises nine office towers, three residential towers and a retail mall component with eight basement carpark levels. Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon, the Company’s majority shareholder, is also the executive chairman of WCT Holdings, the non-executive chairman of Malton Berhad, and chairman and executive director of Pavilion REIT Management Sdn Bhd.
As Pavilion Damansara Heights is Impian Ekspresi’s sole project, prompt completion and sale of the Project are imperative to the Company’s ability to service its debt obligations. Despite the challenging property market, Pavilion Damansara Heights has received encouraging response. As at end-September 2021, 97% of space in its nine office towers had been sold, with bookings received for the remaining 1.8%. Of the 1,314 units available in the three residential towers, 57.5% have been sold while 11.9% have been booked. Ahead of the mall’s planned opening in 4Q 2022, tenants have either leased or committed to lease 52.2% of its net lettable area.
Impian Ekspresi’s balance sheet remained highly leveraged with a net gearing ratio of 1.26 times as at end-June 2021. We expect the Company’s balance sheet to improve moving forward, in line with the gradual receipt of sale proceeds from the office towers and residential units which will be used to pare down debts. Tan Sri Desmond Lim has extended an irrevocable and unconditional undertaking to the guarantors of both series of MTN, to ensure the availability of sufficient funds for the Project’s completion and any cost overruns.
We expect Pavilion Damansara Heights to continue to benefit from its prestigious address that boasts excellent visibility and accessibility. The Project is also envisaged to gain from its experienced project team, mainly comprising personnel from Malton Group and Pavilion REIT Management Sdn Bhd.
Thong Mun Wai
(603) 3385 2522
Fareez Iskandar, CB
(603) 3385 2502
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Ratings on Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd