NEWS


SANDHURST STRATEGIC INCOME FUND’S ‘A’ RATING AFFIRMED
Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Melbourne, 31 May 2016 – Australia Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of ‘A’ to the Class A and Class B units issued by the Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund (“the Fund”).

A rating of ‘A’ represents that the Fund has a strong degree of protection against loss from credit risk on the rating scale used by Australia Ratings for fixed income funds. The rating primarily reflects the credit quality of the Fund’s investments and the experience and skill of the Fund’s Management team of Sandhurst Trustees Limited.

Australia Ratings analyst Renee Corcoran said “Investors in the Fund benefit from a highly diversified portfolio of term deposits and debt securities with low volatility risk due to short interest rate duration of the portfolio.” Ms Corcoran added “Over the last 12 months, the Fund reduced its exposure to term deposits and has invested a greater proportion of funds in corporate bonds and floating rate notes.”

Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund was launched in July 2011 and is part of the Bendigo Wealth division and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group.

The units provide investors with a quarterly distribution of income and a return of principal via a redemption request. Australia Ratings has also confirmed its Product Complexity Indicator of ‘BLUE” to the Fund’s units to indicate that an investment in the units represents a relatively simple type of fixed interest investment. The BLUE indicator highlights that in certain exceptional circumstances the Fund may defer redemption requests to manage its liquidity.

A full rating report is available from www.australiaratings.com/rating-reports.

For more information contact:

Renee Corcoran, Director, Australia Ratings
Phone: 03 8080 6684
Email: renee.corcoran@australiaratings.com

AUSTRALIA RATINGS LAUNCHES NEW-LOOK WEBSITE
Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Melbourne, 24 February– Australia Ratings is pleased to announce the launch of our updated, new-look website – www.australiaratings.com.

The website brings a fresh and clearer presentation of our ratings and research and a menu layout that makes it easier to navigate the site. It will also allow easy access from mobile devices including smart phones and tablets.

Registered users of our current website will need to create a new login id and password to access ratings and research. We suggest you use your email address as your id. There is no restriction on the password format.

For further information contact us at info@australiaratings.com.

‘STRONG’ RANKING AFFIRMED FOR LA TROBE FINANCIAL ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED
Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Melbourne, 24 February – Australia Ratings has affirmed its ranking for La Trobe Financial Asset Management (LFAM) as ‘Strong’.

A ‘Strong’ Operational Capability Assessment (OCA) ranking reflects the embedded processes and procedures adopted by LFAM to successfully perform its operational role and successfully execute La Trobe Australian Credit Fund’s investment mandates and deliver expected income to investors.

Australia Ratings analyst, Daniela Crisafi said “Sound governance, compliance and risk management frameworks give LFAM direction and support to successfully fulfil its role and to provide expected returns to Fund investors. Such frameworks have been embedded in their processes, supporting LFAM’s role. Furthermore, experienced employees’ focused and consistent approach in managing the Fund firmly supports LFAM.”

LFAM’sStrong OCA indicates continued demonstration of a strong capacity to perform its obligations and role as Responsible Entity for the La Trobe Australian Credit fund. LFAM is supported by very strong capabilities and qualities.

LFAM’s ‘Strong’ ranking also takes into consideration the operational and financial support from the La Trobe Financial Group. On a consolidated basis, the Group held net assets of more than $101 million as at 31 January 2016.

Download copy of the full Operational Capability Assessment ranking report.

 

For further information contact:

Daniela Crisafi,  Director,  Australia Ratings
Phone: 03 8080 6684
Email: daniela.crisafi@australiaratings.com

 

RATING OF HERITAGE BANK RETAIL BONDS REVIEWED AND AFFIRMED AT ‘BBB+’
Monday, December 07, 2015


Melbourne, Monday 7 December 2015 – Australia Ratings has reviewed and affirmed its credit rating of ‘BBB+’ of the Heritage Bank Retail Bonds (the Bonds). This rating is the highest long-term rating in the intermediate category of creditworthiness on the rating scale of Australia Ratings (see the rating scale below). The Bonds are senior and unsecured debt obligations of Heritage Bank Limited.

Australia Ratings also confirmed its product complexity indicator of ‘GREEN’ on the Bonds, indicating that Australia Ratings considers the Bonds to be a debt investment with simple and straight forward terms and conditions. A coupon of 7.25% p.a. is payable quarterly in arrears until maturity of the Bonds in June 2017.

Australia Ratings’ credit analyst, Chris Dalton said “the ‘BBB+’ rating of the Bonds reflects the credit quality of Heritage Bank”. Mr Dalton added “earnings and profitability dipped slightly in FY2015 reflecting competition in the markets for term deposits and residential mortgages. Heritage’s performance in keeping down arrears remains significantly better than the industry average, with only 0.39% of loans in arrears as at 30 June 2015. Heritage continues to execute a consistent business strategy and based on the current economic outlook and the business and financial risk profile of Heritage, the rating is expected to remain unchanged in the medium term”.

The credit rating reflects the following key strengths of Heritage Bank’s business:

  • a low risk portfolio of residential mortgages with below industry average arrears and losses;
  • a conservative risk appetite with regard to maintaining capital and liquidity above regulatory capital requirements; and
  • a diversified funding base with experience in raising funds via both wholesale and retail funding markets.

The credit rating also reflects the following key risks to Heritage Bank’s business:

  • a slowing of demand and increased competition in the residential mortgage market which may constrain earnings growth; and
  • a reliance upon retained earnings to build capital base for future asset growth.

The ‘GREEN’ Product Complexity Indicator of Bonds is confirmed. A GREEN designation indicates the terms and conditions of the Bonds are simple and straightforward with a very low level of complexity on Australia Ratings’ five point Product Complexity Indicator scale.

For more information contact:

Chris Dalton, 0403 584 600, chris.dalton@australiaratings.com

SERIES B AUSTRALIAN UNITY BONDS - TRANCHE 1 ASSIGNED CREDIT RATING OF ‘BBB+’
Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Australia Ratings has assigned a credit rating of ‘BBB+’ to the Australian Unity Series B Bonds - Tranche 1 (Bonds), issued by Australian Unity Limited (AUL). This rating is the highest long-term rating in the intermediate category of creditworthiness on the rating scale of Australia Ratings (see the rating scale below).The Bonds are unsecured debt obligations of the issuer, AUL.

Australia Ratings also assigned its product complexity indicator of ‘GREEN’ to the Bonds indicating that Australia Ratings considers the Bonds to be a debt investment with simple and straight forward terms and conditions.

“The ‘BBB+’ rating on the Bonds primarily reflects the assessed credit quality of both their issuer, Australian Unity Limited and the wider Australian Unity Group” said Australia Ratings’ credit analyst, Chris Cudsi. Mr Cudsi added, “In 2015, Australian Unity grew earnings substantially, with almost all business lines reporting stronger earnings”. AU’s net profit after tax (NPAT) increased by almost 17% in 2015 compared with the previous year.

The Australian Unity Group is a diversified mutual specialising in the provision of healthcare (mainly, health insurance), financial services and retirement living.

The credit rating reflects the following key strengths of AUL’s business:

  • Robust and competitive healthcare arm that generates almost 57% of adjusted EBITDA

  • Prudent and conservative risk appetite with regard to gearing levels and maintenance of buffers above regulatory capital requirements

  • Increasing diversification benefits of continued expansion into Retirement Living, Financial Services and Big Sky Building Society businesses

    The credit rating also reflects the following key risks to AUL’s business:

  • All three of the Australian Unity Group’s major businesses (Healthcare, Financial Services - including Big Sky Building Society – and Retirement Living) operate in areas subject to significant regulatory scrutiny and/or political pressure to minimise price increases

  • Exposure to project and construction risks inherent in property development within the Retirement Living business

  • Restricted financial flexibility, given Australian Unity Limited’s mutual status precludes future equity raising

The ‘GREEN’ Product Complexity Indicator of the Bonds has been assigned. A GREEN designation indicates the terms and conditions of the Bonds are simple and straightforward with a very low level of complexity on Australia Ratings’ five point Product Complexity Indicator scale.

For more information contact:

Chris Cudsi, Director, 0403 751 040, chris.cudsi@australiaratings.com

 

‘SUPERIOR’ OCA RANKING ASSIGNED TO ASSETWATCH TRADE RECIVABLES PLATFORM
Tuesday, October 06, 2015


‘SUPERIOR’ OCA RANKING ASSIGNED TO ASSETWATCH TRADE RECIVABLES PLATFORM

Melbourne, Tuesday 6 October, 2015 – Australia Ratings has affirmed its Operational Capability Assessment (OCA) ranking of ‘Superior’ to the AssetWatch trade receivables platform operated by Assetsecure Pty Ltd (Assetsecure). A ‘Superior’ ranking indicates superior operational abilities to perform AssetWatch’s role in either funding and/or managing pools of trade receivables (see ranking scale below).

The OCA ranking primarily reflects the automated nature of the AssetWatch platform used fund and/or manage trade receivable portfolios purchased by Assetsecure. The operation of the platform involves minimal manual intervention and includes comprehensive in-built quality controls and risk management features.

Australia Ratings analyst, Phil Bayley said “AssetWatch is a platform that is highly automated which eliminates a number of potential risks that may arise in a manual receivables management system. The platform has comprehensive system support allowing for efficient management and collection of trade receivables. The experience of the management team and the extensive track record of the platform were also factors in the ‘Superior’ ranking.”

Assetsecure is a niche arranger of trade receivables financing among a disparate and diminishing group of trade receivables finance providers. Assetsecure also uses securtitisation financing techniques to fund receivables purchase facilities ranging from $15 million to $40 million in size, with clients spread across industry sectors such as logistics, fuel wholesaling, automotive, equipment hire and manufacturing. AssetWatch contains a range of comprehensive controls, error detectors and risk management measures and has an operational history of over eleven years.

For further information contact:

Chris Dalton (Managing Director, Australia Ratings)
Mobile: 0403 584 600
Phone: 03 8080 6684

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SMARTER MONEY FUND RATED ‘A’ BY AUSTRALIA RATINGS
Monday, September 28, 2015


 

Melbourne, 28 September 2015 – Australia Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of ‘A’ to the units issued by the Smarter Money Fund, formerly the Smarter Money Active Cash Fund, (the Fund). The credit rating of ‘A’ represents a high degree of creditworthiness on the rating scale used by Australia Ratings to assess the credit profile of a managed fund. The rating primarily reflects the credit quality of the Fund’s investments as well as the experience and skill of the investment manager, Smarter Money Investments.

Australia Ratings analyst Renee Corcoran said “the Smarter Money Fund has continued to pursue its investment objective through actively managing a liquid portfolio of fixed income securities that have a high degree of credit quality.” Corcoran also noted “investors in the Fund have a low exposure to volatility arising from changes in interest rates and the credit risk of the portfolio is restricted to investment grade securities.”

While the rating primarily reflects the credit quality of the assets of the Fund, Australia Ratings noted the stability of the investment team and the demonstrated track record of exceeding the investment objective of the Fund.

The units provide investors with a periodic distribution of income and a return of principal via a redemption request. Australia Ratings has also affirmed its Product Complexity Indicator of ‘BLUE” to the Fund’s units to indicate that an investment in the units represents a relatively straightforward type of fixed interest investment.

A full rating report is available from www.australiaratings.com.

For more information contact:

Chris Dalton, Managing Director chris.dalton@australiaratings.com 03 8080 6684


 

RATING OF MASON STEVENS CREDIT FUND AFFIRMED AT ‘BBB’ BY AUSTRALIA RATINGS
Monday, August 24, 2015


 

Melbourne, 24 August 2015 – Australia Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of ‘BBB’ to the units issued by the Mason Stevens Credit Fund (the Fund). A rating of ‘BBB’ indicates that the Fund has a moderate degree of protection against loss from credit risk on the rating scale used by Australia Ratings for income funds.

The rating primarily reflects the credit quality of the Fund’s investments as well as the experience and skill of the portfolio managers of Mason Stevens Asset Management Limited.

Mason Stevens Credit Fund was launched in 2013 and aims to generate a return of 3.5% above the Cash Rate by investing in securities that generate both income and yield. The units provide investors with a quarterly distribution of income and a return of principal via a redemption request.

Australia Ratings analyst Renee Corcoran said “investors in the Fund benefit from a diversified portfolio of debt securities across a range of maturities with the current portfolio being comprised of investment grade assets.” Corcoran also said “in the 12 months to 30 June, the Mason Stevens Credit Fund generated returns of 7.53%. During the year, the Fund increased its exposure to securities issued by Asian issuers. A majority of the Fund’s assets are held in Australian dollars and held across diversified assets classes including asset- backed, senior-unsecured floating rate notes, and tier 1 hybrids”.

Australia Ratings has also confirmed its Product Complexity Indicator of ‘YELLOW” to the Fund’s units to indicate that an investment in the units represents a complex of investment. The YELLOW indicator highlights two notable conditions. Firstly the Fund’s documentation allows for the use of derivatives and borrowing in the management of the Fund. Risk arising from the use of derivatives and borrowings will depend on the judgement of the Investment Manager. Secondly if redemptions are sought for over 20% of total units in any one month, the constitution of the Fund does permit redemptions to be spread over 3 months or in certain exceptional circumstances the Fund may defer redemption requests to manage its liquidity.

A full rating report is available from www.australiaratings.com.

For more information contact:

Chris Dalton, Managing Director chris.dalton@australiaratings.com 0403 584 600

03 8080 6684

 

SANDHURST STRATEGIC INCOME FUND RATING OF ‘A’ AFFIRMED BY AUSTRALIA RATINGS
Monday, June 01, 2015


Melbourne, 1 June 2015 – Australia Ratings has affirmed its credit rating of ‘A’ to the Class A and Class B units issued by the Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund (“the Fund”). A rating of ‘A’ represents that the Fund has a high degree of protection against loss from credit risk on the rating scale used by Australia Ratings for income funds. The rating primarily reflects the credit quality of the Fund’s investments as well as the experience and skill of the Funds Management division of Sandhurst Trustees Limited.

Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund was launched in July 2011 and is a product of Bendigo Wealth, part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group.

Australia Ratings analyst Chris Dalton said “Investors in the Fund benefit from a diversified portfolio of term deposits and debt securities across a range of maturities with the current portfolio being comprised of investment grade assets.” Dalton also said “in the 12 months to 30 April, the Sandhurst Strategic Income Fund generated returns of 3.29% compared to its benchmark of 2.67%. During the year Fund reduced its exposure to term deposits and invested a greater portion of funds in floating rate notes”.

The units provide investors with a quarterly distribution of income and a return of principal via a redemption request. Australia Ratings has also confirmed its Product Complexity Indicator of ‘BLUE” to the Fund’s units to indicate that an investment in the units represents a relatively straightforward type of fixed interest investment. The BLUE indicator highlights that in certain exceptional circumstances the Fund may defer redemption requests to manage its liquidity.

A full rating report is available from www.australiaratings.com/ratingsreports.

For more information contact:

Chris Dalton, Managing Director chris.dalton@australiaratings.com 0403 584 600

03 8080 6684

2015 MEDIA RELEASES
Thursday, January 01, 2015








 

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