The Real Deal Miami

Fitch raises credit outlook for iStar

By David Jones | March 28, 2011 01:06PM

Fitch Ratings upgraded the issuer default ratings of iStar Financial, citing the lender’s
recently announced $2.95 billion credit agreement, which lowered the amount of debt coming due in June.

The funds are comprised of two credit lines that will help iStar extend its debt payments
until 2013 and 2014. The Manhattan-based lender had warned of a potential collapse
unless it was able to extend the deadline on its payments.

The lender has suffered through a spate of collapsed condo projects in South Florida in recent years, including the foreclosures of South of Fifth in Miami Beach and Paramount Bay in Miami and the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure at Terrazas River Park on the Miami River.

Fitch said that lender will now have only 42 percent of its overall debt maturing in June,
compared with 71 percent coming due before the credit line was announced.

Fitch said the quality of iStar’s loan portfolio has modestly improved, with non-accrual
loans representing only 37 percent of the company’s portfolio by the end of 2010,
compared with 43 percent Sept. 30 of last year.

Fitch said 78 percent of loans that have been foreclosed are either condo loans or land
loans, a sign of the high number of high risk loans made by iStar.