Keppel REIT's property in Singapore, Bugis Junction Towers. (Photo: REITsWeek)Keppel REIT's property in Singapore, Bugis Junction Tower. (Photo: REITsWeek)

Singapore-listed Keppel REIT announced on 30 September that it has requested Moody’s Investors Service to withdraw a Baa3 corporate credit rating that has been issued on the REIT since mid-2016.

Keppel REIT was downgraded from Baa2 to Baa3 with a stable outlook by Moody’s in a global credit research report published on 11 July 2016.

Moody’s cited Keppel REIT’s weakened financial profile, declining rental income support, and weaker market conditions in Singapore as reasons for the downgrade.

In its statement on the withdrawal on 30 September, Keppel REIT explained that it has made the request as amendments to Singapore’s Code on Collective Investment Schemes for REITs means that it no longer requires a credit rating to adopt a single-tier aggregate leverage limit of 45%.

Subsequently, Moody’s announced on the same day that it has withdrawn Keppel REIT’s Baa3 rating.

“Moody's has withdrawn the rating for its own business reasons”, said the agency in a statement that was published on its website.

Units of Keppel REIT finished the trading day about 0.4% higher from its previous close on the Singapore Exchange to end at SGD1.11.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.