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-Moody's sets Aa2 rating to East Nippon Expressway bond series.

BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-January 21, 2011--Moody's sets Aa2 rating to East Nippon Expressway bond series(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

21 January 2011 -- Moody's gave a Aa2 rating to Japan's state-owned East Nippon Expressway Company Ltd's (E-NEXCO) series 10 bonds quoting government backup, among other strengths.

The outlook is "stable".

The securities, which total JPY15bn (USD181m/EUR133.8m) and mature in 2013, were issued as part of the firm's JPY300bn domestic shelf registration, which came into effect on 31 March 2010.

E-NEXCO builds and runs expressways in eastern and northern Japan. Its significance to the Japanese road infrastructure is underpinned by its operation of industrial highways such as the Tohoku Expressway and the Kan-etsu Expressway.

"The rating reflects E-NEXCO's intrinsic strengths, which include highly predictable cash flow from its toll road operations and lease payments to Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency (JEHDRA, rated Aa2), backed by the Japanese government's legislative and contractual framework. The rating also incorporates the credit support that Moody's believes the government would provide in a stressful situation," the agency said.

The Japanese government is heavily involved in devising the firm's business strategy, as well as its construction of expressways, collection of tolls, issuance of long-term debt and offerings of new stock, Moody's added.

Revisions of the sovereign rating are expected to have a similar rating impact on the bonds.

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Publication:M2 Banking & Credit News (BCN)
Date:Jan 21, 2011
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