The sale of series D MRPS closed on
In addition, Fitch affirms the following:
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The 'AAA' series D rating assignment and the affirmations reflect:
--Sufficient pro forma asset coverage provided to MRPS and notes as calculated per the fund's asset coverage tests;
--The structural protections afforded by mandatory collateral maintenance and de-leveraging provisions in the event of asset coverage declines;
--The legal and regulatory parameters that govern the fund's operations;
--The capabilities of DPIM as fund adviser.
The fund's objectives are current income and long-term growth of income with capital appreciation as a secondary objective. The fund seeks to achieve its investment objectives by investing primarily in a diversified portfolio of equity and fixed income securities of companies in the public utilities industry. The fund's investment strategies have been developed to take advantage of the income and growth characteristics and historical performances of securities of companies in the public utilities industry. Under normal conditions, more than 65% of the fund's total assets will be invested in securities of public utility companies engaged in the production, transmission or distribution of electric energy, gas or telephone services.
At closing, the fund's pro forma asset coverage ratios, as calculated in accordance with the Fitch total and net overcollateralization tests (Fitch OC tests) per the 'AAA' rating guidelines for the MRPS, outlined in Fitch's closed-end fund criteria, were in excess of 100%. These are the minimum asset coverage guidelines required by the fund's governing documents, and evaluated as such by Fitch to arrive at the assigned rating levels.
The Fitch OC tests calculate standardized asset coverage by applying haircuts to portfolio holdings based on riskiness and diversification of the assets and measuring their ability to cover both on- and off-balance-sheet liabilities at the stress level that corresponds to the assigned rating.
At closing, the fund's asset coverage ratio for total leverage, including the MRPS, as calculated in accordance with the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act), was in excess of 225%. Also at closing, the fund's asset coverage ratio for total debt, as calculated in accordance with the 1940 Act, was in excess of 300%. These are the minimum asset coverage ratios required by the 1940 Act and the fund's governing documents.
Should the MRPS asset coverage tests decline below their minimum threshold amounts (as tested weekly) the fund is required to deliver notice to the MRPS purchasers within five days of becoming aware of such fact.
The fund manager is required to cure the breach by altering the composition of the portfolio toward assets with lower discount factors (for Fitch OC Test breaches), or by reducing leverage in a sufficient amount (for both the Fitch OC Tests and 1940 Act asset coverage test breaches) within a pre-specified time period (a maximum of 45 business days).
THE FUND'S ADVISER
DPIM is responsible for the implementation and execution of the investment strategy on a day-to-day basis. DPIM is an
The rating assigned to the preferred shares may be sensitive to material changes in the leverage composition, portfolio credit quality or market risk of the fund, as described above. A material adverse deviation from Fitch guidelines for any key rating driver could cause the rating to be lowered by Fitch.
For additional information about Fitch rating guidelines applicable to debt and preferred stock issued by closed-end funds, please review the criteria referenced below, which can be found on Fitch's web site at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
The sources of information used to assess this rating were the public domain and DPIM.
Opt-in to receive Fitch's forthcoming research on closed-end funds:
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--'2014 Outlook: U.S. Closed-End Fund Leverage' (
--'Use of Leverage in U.S. Closed-End Funds (Slidedeck Apr-2014)' (
--'Fitch: US Closed-End Funds Pick Up Steam in Private Placements' (
Use of Leverage in U.S. Closed-End Funds (Slidedeck Apr-2014)
2014 Outlook: U.S. Closed-End Fund Leverage
MLP Closed-End Funds: A Capital Structure Case Study
Rating Closed-End Fund Debt and Preferred Stock
Source: Fitch Ratings
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