07.12.2012 11:42
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Golden Agri-Resources Ltd -- Moody's: Golden Agri's long-term financing is credit positive but increases event risk

Singapore, December 07, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service says that Golden Agri-Resources Ltd's recent inaugural issuance of RM1.5 billion (approximately USD490 million) of Islamic medium term notes (IMTN), as well as other recent long-term debt issuance are credit positive, but will increase event risk.

"Numerous positives arise from Golden Agri's recent debt issuance, including a stronger liquidity position and greater stability for the company's capital structure, which was historically reliant on short-term, secured debt", says Alan Greene, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Golden Agri reported USD479 million of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments at the end of Q3 2012. Since then, additional funds have come from USD400 million of convertible bonds issued on 4 October 2012 and the drawdown of the IMTN, completed on 19 November 2012.

Golden Agri's wholly-owned subsidiary, Golden Assets International Finance Limited, has established a 15-year RM5 billion IMTN programme. The first tranche of RM1.5 billion was issued with a tenor of five years. The convertible bond came as a five year, non-call three year bond.

Gross debt will increase at the end of FY2012 as a result of the IMTN drawdown and convertible bond, although some portion of the proceeds are expected to be temporarily used to pay down short term working capital loans. However, Golden Agri's credit metrics are strongly positioned for its rating, where Debt/EBITDA and EBITDA/Interest ratios are expected to remain comfortably above its downward rating triggers unless CPO prices fall below USD700/tonne on a sustained basis.

Overall financing cost is also expected to reduce as the convertible bond is priced at 2.5% and the IMTN's profit rate is 4.35% before cross currency swap. Golden Agri borrowed long-term USD at rates between 2.9% and 6.5% in 2011.

"After mainly dealing with Indonesian and Chinese banks in the past and, more recently, lenders in Europe and Japan, the issuance continues Golden Agri's broadening of its banking and capital market relationships", says Greene, who is also the Lead Analyst for Golden Agri.

"The unsecured nature of recent issuance also alleviates our previous concern over Golden Agri's high proportion of secured debt", adds Greene.

Golden Agri's secured debt comprised 99% of its total debt as at 31 December 2011. The ratio fell to approximately 91% in Q3 2012 after the issuance of IDR1 trillion (approximately USD106 million) of local unsecured bond from PT Smart Tbk, one of Golden Agri's key operating subsidiaries in Indonesia. Moody's expects the proportion of secured debt to total debt to fall further to about 50-60% at the end of FY2012 with the IMTN and convertible bond.

"However, the heightened financial flexibility increases event risk as it is uncertain how Golden Agri will spend its war chest of cash. Potential acquisitions have become a more likely option with the increased liquidity", says Greene.

Golden Agri has apportioned 80% of the net proceeds from the convertible bond for capital expenditure. It seeks to grow its operations through upstream and downstream expansion, as well as by improvements to its logistics and infrastructure.

Golden Agri, registered in Mauritius, is the largest listed oil palm plantation company in Indonesia. Listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 1999, it mainly operates in Indonesia and China and is 49.95% owned by the Widjaja family.

Alan Greene VP - Senior Credit Officer Corporate Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.50 Raffles Place #23-06 Singapore Land TowerSingapore 48623 Singapore JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308 Philipp L. Lotter MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.50 Raffles Place #23-06 Singapore Land TowerSingapore 48623 Singapore JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350 SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308 (C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. ("MIS") AND ITS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ("MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY'S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL, FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED,DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY'S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process. Under no circumstances shall MOODY'S have any liability to any person or entity for (a) any loss or damage in whole or in part caused by, resulting from, or relating to, any error negligent or otherwise or other circumstance or contingency within or outside the control of MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication or delivery of any such information, or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential, compensatory or incidental damages whatsoever (including without limitation, lost profits), even if MOODY'S is advised in advance of the possibility of such damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use, any such information. The ratings, financial reporting analysis, projections, and other observations, if any, constituting part of the information contained herein are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. Each user of the information contained herein must make its own study and evaluation of each security it may consider purchasing, holding or selling.

NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY SUCH RATING OR OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.

MIS, a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MIS have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MIS for appraisal and rating services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,500 to approximately $2,500,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS's ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Shareholder Relations -- Corporate Governance -- Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

Any publication into Australia of this document is by MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657, which holds Australian Financial Services License no. 336969. This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, credit ratings assigned on and after October 1, 2010 by Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") are MJKK's current opinions of the relative future credit risk of entities, credit commitments, or debt or debt-like securities. In such a case, "MIS" in the foregoing statements shall be deemed to be replaced with "MJKK". MJKK is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO.

This credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness or a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors. It would be dangerous for retail investors to make any investment decision based on this credit rating. If in doubt you should contact your financial or other professional adviser.

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