Rating agencies in Israel are reassessing the creditworthiness of New York-based real estate developers trading on the country’s bond market, as the economic impact of coronavirus continues to unfold.
The latest company to face a ratings drop was Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management, whose four bond series all saw two-step downgrades from rating agency Midroog, according to a Sunday filing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The firm’s unsecured Series B and D bonds were downgraded from A3 to Baa2, while its Series C and E bonds — secured by the William Vale hotel complex and phase one of the Denizen Bushwick development — went from A2 to Baa1.
According to Midroog’s report, the developer is close to violating financial covenants associated with its bonds, and its leverage is expected to remain high even after the planned sale of a roughly $300 million multifamily portfolio in the near term.
That portfolio deal encountered a hiccup last week as All Year disclosed that the buyer, David Werner, had not paid the remainder of its deposit on time. Midroog has given All Year’s bonds a negative outlook due to these developments.
A representative for All Year declined to comment.
All Year is far from the first New York City-based real estate firm to face scrutiny in these uncertain times. In late March, rating agency Maalot — an S&P Global subsidiary — downgraded Related Companies’ Israeli bonds from A+ to BBB in light of an impending maturity date. A few months later, Related received bondholder approval to restructure its debt, and the bonds were upgraded to A — still one notch below their pre-coronavirus position.
Extell Development’s bonds were also put on watch in late March, and in June Midroog officially downgraded the developer’s bonds by one level, from A3 to Baa1, with a negative outlook. The main reason for the move was the expected decline in the pace of condo sales, as well as prices, as a result of the pandemic. (Contracts for condos in Manhattan saw a nearly 38 percent year-over-year drop in August.)
Earlier in June, Midroog also downgraded Moinian Group’s bonds by two grades, from A1 to A3, with a negative outlook, citing the lack of sufficient liquidity to cover debt service requirements. The agency reiterated its negative outlook for Moinian’s bonds in a new filing last week.
Extell and Moinian did not respond to requests for comment.
These rating downgrades have led to increased interest rates on the firms’ bonds, which — combined with continued weakness of the dollar versus the shekel — has led to an increase in debt obligations.