Announcements

GCR affirms Sasfin’s fund rating of AA-(ZA)(f); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 31 May 2018 — Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the national scale fund rating* of AA-(ZA)(f) to Sasfin BCI Optimal Income Fund; with the outlook accorded as Stable.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has affirmed the above fund rating to Sasfin BCI Optimal Income Fund (“SBOIF”, “the fund”), key features of which are summarised below.

Fund summary
Fund inception date 01 December 2016
Fund currency South African Rand
Fund data review date 31 January 2018
Assets under management (“AUM”) R690m
Net asset value (“NAV”) Market value
Fund benchmark STeFI Composite Index

In determining a fund rating, GCR qualitatively assesses the fund’s management, and performs an evaluation of the fund portfolio’s historical performance in terms of price/return volatility, underlying asset quality, and market and liquidity risks. While SBOIF’s stress-tested weighted average credit rating (“WACR”) is ‘AAA(ZA)’, the rating is constrained to AA-(ZA)(f) due to the lack of an implementation track record, flexible mandate, liquidity and spread risk associated with long asset tenors. The fund rating was based on the following key criteria:

Fund profile: Sasfin BCI Optimal Income Fund’s (“SBOIF”) mandate aims to deliver an average after-tax yield in excess of money market (“MM”) portfolio yields, while preserving the capital invested. The fund seeks to attract investment from institutional and high net worth (“HNW”) individuals. Regulatory, mandate, and investment policy compliance are evident. SBOIF features 2 day liquidity and a portfolio duration limit of 1 year.

Asset manager profile: SAM is the mandated investment manager (“IM”), BCI (the Manco) performs investor administration; while asset administration and trading functions are outsourced. GCR assesses SBOIF as being managed within a very strong fund management and control environment, supporting the rating. The resource capabilities of BCI and SAM are expected to support performance objectives within mandate constraints.

Investment performance: The fund’s performance and volatility measurement period is relatively short. SBOIF’s AUM at 31 January 2018 were R690m, achieving a 522% growth for the year, largely attributed to the fund’s unique profile, quality of Sasfin’s counterparties and target after-tax yields. SBOIF appears to have adequate strategies in place to simultaneously meet investment objectives and manage liquidity. Strategies include maintenance of close relationships with large investors, at least 10% of the portfolio in liquid assets (a level viewed to be intermediate), 2-day liquidity, transparent 3-5 day tradability in core investments, and a focus on instruments with long term credit ratings of at least ‘A(ZA)’, or equivalent.

Portfolio quality and market risk: GCR’s portfolio analysis considered credit/ concentration risk, tenor/duration (and limits), and other sources of market risk in addition to SBOIF’s stress-tested weighted average credit rating (“WACR”) of ‘AAA(ZA)(f)’.

Key fund risks: High investor concentrations, and a long-dated instrument profile (weighted average maturity of 4.1 years), vs. 2 day liquidity, are SBOIF’s key risks. The portfolio modified duration is well inside the 1 year limit. Credit concentration is adequate, albeit improving on the previous year. The rating is constrained by its flexible mandate, limited track record of the fund and exposure to spread risk given the relatively long asset tenors.

A sustained track record of low volatility, above-benchmark returns and improving liquidity levels could enhance the rating. Mandate breaches, rising investor concentrations, and/or significant deterioration in credit, liquidity and/or market risks metrics could have a negative impact on the ratings.

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* Fund ratings provide an opinion regarding the fund’s ability to preserve principal value under varying market conditions; with reference to the relevant asset management environment (refer to published rating scales and definitions).

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY    
     
Initial/last rating (April 2017)    
Fund rating: AA-(ZA)(f)    
Rating outlook: Stable    

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst   Secondary Analyst
Vimbai Muhwati   Kudzanai Samanga
Credit Analyst   Junior Credit Analyst
(011) 784-1771   (011) 784-1771
vimbaim@globalratings.net   kudzanais@globalratings.net
     
Committee Chairperson    
Marc Chadwick    
Sector Head: Insurance Ratings    
(011) 784-1771    
chadwick@globalratings.net    

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Global Master Criteria for Rating Funds and Asset Managers, updated March 2017

SBOIF rating reports, 2017

RATING LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS

ALL GCR’S CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/UNDERSTANDING-RATINGS. IN ADDITION, GCR’S RATING SCALES AND DEFINITIONS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/RATINGS-INFO. GCR’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, PUBLICATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET.

SALIENT FEATURES OF ACCORDED RATINGS

GCR affirms that a.) no part of the rating was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the rating was based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; c.) such rating was an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument; and d.) the validity of the rating is for a maximum of 12 months, or earlier as indicated by the applicable fund rating document.

Sasfin Asset Managers (Proprietary) Limited participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings, teleconferences and other written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible.

The fund rating has been disclosed to Sasfin Asset Managers (Proprietary) Limited with no contestation of the rating.

The information received from Sasfin Asset Managers (Proprietary) Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the fund rating included:

  • A breakdown of the fund investment portfolio, including information on the instruments, their terms, conditions and credit quality;
  • A breakdown of the fund investor portfolio, including fund flows and withdrawal terms;
  • Detail on historical fund returns, fee structures, and expense ratios (where available);
  • Details regarding the fund management, investment management and administration activities of the fund;
  • Financial statements for Sasfin Holdings Limited (at 30 June 2017);and
  • Industry comparative data and regulatory framework.

The rating above was solicited by, or on behalf of, Sasfin Asset Managers (Proprietary) Limited, and therefore, GCR has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS/ACRONYMS USED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS PER GCR’S FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS GLOSSARY

Asset A resource with economic value that a company owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.
Asset Quality Refers primarily to the credit quality of a bank’s earning assets, the bulk of which comprises its loan portfolio, but will also include its investment portfolio as well as off balance sheet items. Quality in this context means the degree to which the loans that the bank has extended are performing (ie, being paid back in accordance with their terms) and the likelihood that they will continue to perform.
Capital The sum of money that is invested to generate proceeds.
Cash Funds that can be readily spent or used to meet current obligations.
Credit Rating An opinion regarding the creditworthiness of an entity, a security or financial instrument, or an issuer of securities or financial instruments, using an established and defined ranking system of rating categories.
Liquid Assets Assets, generally of a short term, that can be converted into cash.
Liquidity The speed at which assets can be converted to cash. It can also refer to the ability of a company to service its debt obligations due to the presence of liquid assets such as cash and its equivalents. Market liquidity refers to the ease with which a security can be bought or sold quickly and in large volumes without substantially affecting the market price. 
Liquidity Risk The risk that a company may not be able to meet its financial obligations or other operational cash requirements due to an inability to timeously realise cash from its assets. Regarding securities, the risk that a financial instrument cannot be traded at its market price due to the size, structure or efficiency of the market.
Long-Term Not current; ordinarily more than one year.
Long-Term Rating Reflects an issuer’s ability to meet its financial obligations over the following three to five year period, including interest payments and debt redemptions. This encompasses an evaluation of the organisation’s current financial position, as well as how the position may change in the future with regard to meeting longer term financial obligations.
Maturity The length of time between the issue of a bond or other security and the date on which it becomes payable in full.
Net Asset Value The value of an entity’s assets less its liabilities. It is a reflection of the company’s underlying value and is usually quoted on a per share basis.
Portfolio A collection of investments held by an individual investor or financial institution. They may include stocks, bonds, futures contracts, options, real estate investments or any item that the holder believes will retain its value.
Principal The total amount borrowed or lent, e.g. the face value of a bond, excluding interest.
Risk The chance of future uncertainty (i.e. deviation from expected earnings or an expected outcome) that will have an impact on objectives.
Short-Term Current; ordinarily less than one year.
Short-Term Rating An opinion of an issuer’s ability to meet all financial obligations over the upcoming 12 month period, including interest payments and debt redemptions.
Tenor The time from the value date until the expiry date of a financial instrument.
Yield Percentage return on an investment or security, usually calculated at an annual rate.

For a detailed glossary of terms please click here

GCR affirms Sasfin’s fund rating of AA-(ZA)(f); Outlook Stable.

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