HDB given Aaa rating by credit ratings agency Moody's

Visitors at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.
Visitors at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Credit ratings agency Moody's has given a triple A rating to the Housing Board, the strongest rating it has.

It also gave a provisional Aaa rating to the HDB's $32 billion Multi-currency Medium Term Note (MTN) programme.

The top rating was given largely due to HDB's linkages with the Singapore government, which is itself given the highest rating by credit agencies.

Moody's noted that most of HDB's activities are unprofitable but the size of its annual and growing losses reflect its social mission.

It noted that as building activity increases, deficits have been growing steadily from $427 million in 2011 and 2012 to $2 billion in 2014 and 2015.

"The size of HDB's deficits are therefore in effect determined each year by the government, based on their decisions of how much and what type of public housing to construct and what level of subsidy to provide to the population," said Moody's.

"However, its deficits are more than fully covered by government transfers."

Under HDB's MTN programme, HDB may from time to time, issue bonds (or notes) to finance its development programmes and working capital requirements, as well as to refinance the existing borrowings.

Since 2011 more than 100,000 public housing units have been launched by the Government as it pushed ahead plans to increase supply and meet the demand for more public housing.