ALB.PR.A Rating of Pfd-2(low) Confirmed by DBRS

The credit rating of Allbanc Split Corp. II has been confirmed by DBRS:

DBRS has today confirmed the Preferred Shares issued by Allbanc Split Corp. II (the Company) at Pfd-2 (low) with a Stable trend. The rating has been removed from Under Review with Developing Implications where it was placed on March 19, 2008.

In February 2006, the Company raised gross proceeds of approximately $322 million by issuing 6.73 million Preferred Shares at $25.00 each and 13.46 million Capital Shares at $11.40 each. The net proceeds from the offering were invested in a portfolio of common shares (the Portfolio Shares) of the top six Canadian chartered banks: Bank of Montreal (19%), Bank of Nova Scotia (19%), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (19%), Royal Bank of Canada (19%), The Toronto-Dominion Bank (19%) and National Bank of Canada (5%). The initial split share structure provided downside protection of approximately 45% to the Preferred Shares (after expenses).

The holders of the Preferred Shares receive fixed cumulative quarterly distributions equal to 4.25% per annum. The fixed distributions of dividends on the Preferred Shares are funded from the dividends received on the Portfolio Shares and, if necessary, with proceeds from the sale of Portfolio Shares or from covered call option premium income as determined by the board of directors. The current yield on the Portfolio Shares fully covers the Preferred Shares dividends, providing dividend coverage of approximately 1.6 times. Excess dividends net of all expenses of the Company are paid as dividends on the Capital Shares or re-invested by the Company in additional Portfolio Shares as determined by the board of directors of the Company.

The Company’s net asset value has experienced downward pressure over the past year, dropping from $52.86 to $42.87, a decline of about 19%. The current downside protection available to the Preferred Shareholders is approximately 41% (as of June 12, 2008). The confirmation of the Preferred Shares is based on the current level of asset coverage available to cover the Preferred Shares principal, the high dividend coverage ratio and the strong credit quality of the banks included in the Portfolio.

The redemption date for both classes of shares issued is February 28, 2011.

This would not normally be considered newsworthy, but I am tracking the effects of the DBRS mass review of financial split-shares. On 3/13, the asset coverage ratio was 1.6:1; as of June 19, the coverage is 1.7:1.

ALB.PR.A is tracked by HIMIPref™ and is incorporated in the Split-Share Index.

Update: See also previous post for ALB.PR.A.

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