Early Returns on GE Capital Sale Spark Moody’s Upgrade
AUG 18, 2015 - 7:17 am
Moody’s Investor Services upgraded GE Capital’s $830 million subordinated notes due September 2035 to A1 from A2, a direct result of the early success of GE’s downgrade plans for its financial arm. GE Capital’s other ratings, including its A1 senior unsecured and Prime-1 short term ratings, and its stable outlook were not affected by the action.
The upgraded rating is due primarily to the large scale downsizing that the financial giant is currently undergoing, which includes significant sale of assets over the next two years, as well as parental support by GE guarantees existing tradable senior and subordinate GE Capital debt.
GE Capital’s contribution to GE’s consolidated earnings will eventually decline to 10%, a significant decline from the 42% it was responsible for in 2014. GE Capital will hold onto aircraft financier GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), Energy Financial Services (EFS) and Healthcare Equipment Finance. GE Capital’s asset concentration will increase, particularly in aircraft finance, and its dividend-distribution capacity will decline.
However, GE Capital’ risk footprint will shrink and there will be less of a reliance on capital markets to fund operations. The continued stable outlook reflects GE’s support of GE Capital during the transition.
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