Looking Healthy

Fitch Ratings Lanka re-confirmed its SLAA+ national rating on John Keells Holdings Ltd. senior debt following the conglomerates recent acquisition spree.
SL AA+ rating denotes a very low expectation of credit risk. It indicates very strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.rn

rnAfter picking up a 60 percent slice in Asian Hotels Corp. last Friday, JKH on Wednesday announced plans to raise around Rs. 6 bn through a combination of a private placement and rights issue of 1 for 7 on the increased share capital including the private placement. rn

rnThe increased equity would reduce JKHs Debt/Equity ratio to around 25 percent to 35 percent. As at June 30, JKHs Debt/Equity ratio was 55 percent. rn

rnFurthermore, other creditor protection measures of EBITDA/Interest and Total Debt/EBITDA would also improve to around 10(x) and 1.2(x) respectively, and are very comfortable for this rating category, says Fitch. rn