PLife REIT aims to maintain a strong financial position through prudent and dynamic capital and financial management, to ensure continuous access to funding at optimal cost, maintain stable distributions to Unitholders and achieve a steady net asset value.
As at 31 March 2022, PLife REIT's gearing was 34.5% which complied with the stipulated Aggregate Leverage limit. The interest coverage ratio stood at 20.2 times.
PLife REIT adopts a dynamic and pro-active approach for its liability and liquidity risk management. Our key liability and funding management strategies in support of our regional growth aspirations are:
1) To achieve diversified funding sources at an optimal cost
Diversify our funding sources from a panel of high quality banks, establishing and maintaining our Debt Issuance Programme and other financing sources to attain varied liability tenure, with the end objective of maintaining the most optimal financing cost mix.
2) To enhance the defensiveness of PLife REIT's Balance Sheet strength
Dynamically manage our debt maturity profile to ensure well-spread debt maturities and at the same time, to maintain an optimal capital structure.
Tactical approaches adopted in view of the above strategies are:
a) Conscientious effort in lengthening and spreading out the debt maturity period;
b) Cultivating and maintaining a panel of key banks to support our long term growth;
c) Establishing alternative source of fund. In this respect, PLife REIT, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Parkway Life MTN Pte Ltd (the “MTN Issuer”), put in place a S$500 million Multicurrency Debt Issuance Programme to provide PLife REIT with the flexibility to tap various types of capital market products including issuance of perpetual securities when needed. As at 31 March 2022, there were three series of outstanding unsecured fixed rate notes amounted to JPY11.8 billion (approximately S$131.6 million) issued under the Debt Issuance Programme, which diversified PLife REIT’s funding sources.
d) Minimising near-term refinancing risk through pre-emptive terming out current debts. PLife REIT has drawn down the 5-year up to JPY7.71 billion (approximately S$91.6 million) committed JPY loan put in place in December 2021, to term out existing short term loans in March 2022. PLife REIT has no long-term debt refinancing needs till June 2023.
PLife REIT adopts prudent financial risk management to manage the exposure to interest rate risk and foreign currency risk. Our policy is to hedge at least 50% (up to 100%) of all financial risks.
Interest rate risk is managed on an ongoing basis with the primary objective of limiting the extent to which net interest expenses could be affected by adverse movements in interest rates, by hedging the long term committed borrowings through the use of interest rate hedging financial instruments. For the foreign exchange ("Forex") risk management, we strive to hedge Forex risk on principal which will allow PLife REIT to maintain a stable net asset value, as the Forex fluctuation on foreign asset will offset the Forex fluctuation of the hedging instrument. We also aim to hedge the Forex risk on net overseas income which will provide PLife REIT with stability in distributable income, as PLife REIT will be shielded from exchange rate fluctuation on foreign income.
In March 2022, PLife REIT executed new JPY interest rate hedges to hedge the interest rate exposure arising from the new JPY loan drawn down in March 2022 as well as extension of existing hedges that have rolled off. As at 31 March 2022, PLife REIT has put in place JPY income hedge till 3Q 2026 and about 81% of interest rate exposure is hedged.
For more details, please refer to PLife REIT's announcements on www.sgx.com.