Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revised its outlook on Halifax Port Authority (HPA) to positive from stable. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘A’ long-term issuer credit rating. The outlook revision reflects what Standard and Poor’s views as sustained healthy operating and financial performance in the next two years.
The rating reflects Standard & Poor’s opinion of the following principal factors:
• The Port’s strategic location on the east coast of North America, with its natural deep harbour and supporting infrastructure.
• The Port Authority’s perceived strong business position and natural advantages that have made it Canada’s fourth-busiest container port after Vancouver, Montreal, and Prince Rupert, B.C. Its ice-free harbour results in the Port being one of only two ports on the east coast able to service the larger postpanamax and super-postpanamax vessels;
• Standard & Poor’s expects that the Authority will continue to manage its capital program prudently, and that its debt burden will remain relatively low compared with that of peers.
• Standard & Poor’s view that the Authority has a fairly stable revenue stream compared with that of some peers, attributable to the significant share of its 2012 revenues from rental income;
• In accordance with Standard & Poor’s criteria for government-related entities (GREs), it views the likelihood of timely and sufficient extraordinary government support as “moderately high”.