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26. Financial risk management objectives and policies

Vesteda’s principal financial liabilities, other than derivatives, are loans and borrowings. The main purpose of Vesteda’s loans and borrowings is to finance the Vesteda Companies' property portfolio. As part of its business strategy, Vesteda uses debt financing to optimise its equity return by utilising a conservative level of debt leverage.

The Vesteda Companies also have trade and other receivables, trade and other payables and cash and short-term deposits that arise directly from their operations.

Vesteda Residential Fund FGR is exposed to market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risk. Please note that when this report was written, a year passed since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Vesteda has taken measures regarding the operational activities of the company to prevent the further spread of the virus. Although the impact on the Global and Dutch economy is severe, but at this point the impact on Vesteda is limited.

Vesteda has a well diversified fully unsecured funding structure as explained in the Funding section of this report. At year-end 2020 there was ample headroom in the LTV and ICR covenants (LTV at 23.3% with a covenant of maximum 50% and an ICR of 6.7 versus a covenant minimum of 2.0). The weighted average maturity of our debt is 4.9 year with the next debt redemption scheduled in May 2021 (€100 million). We have a strong liquidity position: At year end 2020 our drawn debt amounted to €1.9 billion whereas our existing liquidity sources amounted to €2.5 billion of committed facilities and €0.9 billion of uncommitted facilities. We expect to have sufficient liquidity sources and headroom in our financial covenants to cover our funding needs in at least the next twelve months.

Vesteda has fully incorporated risk management in its strategic and operational processes. The risk management framework addresses all levels and lines of business in order to ensure ‘in control’ performance.

The Vesteda Management Board assesses its proper functioning on a regular basis and continues to pursue further improvement and optimisation of the internal risk management and control procedures.

In addition to the risk management framework, Vesteda also actively manages market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risk as part of its treasury policy.

1) Market risk

Market risk is the risk that the fair value of financial instruments will fluctuate due to changes in market prices.

The financial instruments held by Vesteda Residential Fund FGR that are affected by market risk are principally the derivative financial instruments used to hedge interest risk on its loan portfolio. As per end-December 2020, Vesteda Residential Fund FGR had no derivative financial instruments outstanding.

2) Interest rate risk

Interest rate risk is the risk that the future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate due to changes in market interest rates. Vesteda’s exposure to the risk of changes in market interest rates relates primarily to Vesteda’s long-term debt obligations with floating interest rates.

Vesteda must at all times meet its obligations under the loans it has taken out, including the interest cover ratio with a minimum of 2.0 and loan-to-value covenant with a maximum of 50%.

According to the Fund’s Terms and Conditions, Vesteda is required to hedge a minimum of 70% of existing interest rate exposure.

To manage its interest rate risk, Vesteda Residential Fund FGR can enter into interest rate swaps or fixed rate debt. With respect to the interest rate swaps, Vesteda agrees to exchange, at specified intervals, the difference between fixed and variable rate interest amounts calculated by reference to an agreed-upon notional principal amount. These swaps are designated as hedges of underlying debt obligations. Prior to the bond issue, Vesteda Residential Fund FGR arranged two interest rate swaps that were unwound at the date of the bond issue. As per December 2020, Vesteda Residential Fund FGR has no derivative financial instruments outstanding. At 31 December 2020, 89% of Vesteda’s borrowings were subject to a fixed interest rate (2019: 88%).

Sensitivity analyses of market and interest rate risk

Vesteda performed an interest rate risk sensitivity scenario using an immediate increase of one percentage point in the interest rate curve as at 31 December 2020. The analysis was prepared on the basis that the amount of net debt and the ratio of fixed-to-floating interest rates of the debt are constant. As Vesteda Residential Fund FGR had no derivative financial instruments outstanding at the reporting date, interest rate risk sensitivity has no impact on equity or the fair value of derivative financial instruments.

The sensitivity of the statement of comprehensive income is the effect of the assumed changes in interest rates on the net interest income for one year, based on the floating rate financial liabilities held at the reporting date.

An interest rise of 1% has effect on Vesteda’s floating debt and fixed debt that matures in one year. Per year end 2020 Vesteda has €218 million of floating debt and €100 million fixed debt that matures in one year. An interest rise of 1% would cause an increase of interest expenses of €3.2 million.

3) Credit risk

Credit risk is the risk that a counterparty will not meet its obligations by virtue of a financial instrument or customer contract, leading to a financial loss. Vesteda is exposed to credit risk from its leasing activities and its financing activities, including deposits with banks and financial institutions and derivatives if applicable.

Tenant receivables

Credit risk is managed by requiring tenants to pay rent in advance. Vesteda assesses the credit quality of tenants using an extensive credit rating scorecard at the time they enter into a lease agreement. Vesteda regularly monitors outstanding receivables from tenants. The maximum exposure to credit risk at the reporting date is the carrying amount of each class of financial asset. The COVID-19 pandemic has consequences for our tenants. We offer customised solutions to our tenants in case of financial problems. This is done by accommodating payment arrangements or if needed with the tenant finding a rental house which better suits their monthly incomes. In certain cases, primarily with commercial tenants, we offer a discount on the rent. The outstanding receivables increased slightly at this point. At this moment (17 March 2021), there is not a significant increase in the loss of rent.

Credit risk related to financial instruments and cash deposits

Vesteda’s treasury department manages credit risk from balances with banks and financial institutions. As part of its treasury policy, Vesteda maintains a formal counterparty policy in respect of those organisations from which it may borrow or with which it may enter into other financing or investment arrangements. Investments of surplus funds are made only with approved counterparties and within credit limits assigned to each counterparty.

Vesteda’s Management Board reviews counterparty credit limits at least on an annual basis, and may update these at any time in the year should market conditions require any changes to the counterparty credit limits. The limits are set to minimise the concentration of risks and therefore mitigate financial loss through potential counterparty failure.

As part of its treasury policy, Vesteda strives for sufficient diversification in Vesteda’s counterparties and to limit concentration risk.

4) Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that (1) Vesteda will not be able to refinance maturing debt funding, or (2) if debt is refinanced, the maturity and interest rate of the financing will have a significant unplanned adverse effect on Vesteda’s cash flow and liquidity position. In addition, (3) Vesteda must at all times meet its obligations under the loans it has taken out including the interest cover ratio and loan-to-value covenant.

Vesteda limits these risks by conservative use of loan capital, ensuring sufficient headroom under its financial covenants and fixing at least 70% of its interest rates in order to mitigate adverse effects of interest rate volatility.

Vesteda’s treasury department manages liquidity risk with the objective of ensuring that Vesteda has sufficient funds available to meet its financial obligations. As part of its treasury policy, Vesteda aims to have adequate though not excessive cash resources, borrowing arrangements and overdraft or standby facilities to enable it at all times to have the level of funds available it needs to achieve its business objectives.

Vesteda’s objective is to maintain a balance between continuity of funding and flexibility. Vesteda uses a diverse range of financing instruments for its financing, through banks loans and capital markets. Debt maturities are chosen in line with the long-term character of Vesteda’s assets, taking into account a good spread in the maturity profile of its debt portfolio.

The table below summarises the maturity profile of Vesteda’s financial liabilities based on contractual undiscounted payments.

Liquidity risk
 

On demand

< 3 months

3-12 months

1-5 years

> 5 years

Total

Year ended 31 December 2019

      

Interest-bearing loans and borrowings

10

215

-

400

1,200

1,825

Interest

-

-

30

123

39

192

Deposits from tenants

22

-

-

-

-

22

Financial derivatives

-

-

-

-

-

-

Trade and other payables

-

53

-

-

-

53

 

32

268

30

523

1,239

2,093

       

Year ended 31 December 2020

      

Interest-bearing loans and borrowings

8

210

100

300

1,300

1,918

Interest

-

 

32

99

49

179

Deposits from tenants

24

-

-

-

-

24

Financial derivatives

-

-

-

-

-

-

Trade and other payables

-

43

-

-

-

43

 

32

253

132

399

1,349

2,164

Estimated interest obligations for the bank facilities are based on the outstanding amount at year-end.

Fair value of financial Instruments

This section describes the comparison between the carrying amounts of the Vesteda Companies’ financial instruments and their estimated fair values. Trade and other receivables and Trade and other payables are carried at amortised cost, but given their short duration, the fair value does not significantly deviate from the carrying amount (Level 3 valuation).

Cash and cash equivalents are recognised at fair value. With respect to financial assets, management concluded that the carrying amount is an appropriate estimate of the fair value. With respect to the floating rate financial liabilities (both short term and long term), these are carrying a variable interest rate based on Euribor plus a mark-up, which also takes into account the perceived credit risk of the Vesteda Companies. As a result, their carrying amount approximates their fair value.

The fair value measurement of senior public notes issued by Vesteda Finance B.V. can be qualified as Level 1 valuation. Inputs are quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that the entity can access at the measurement date.

The fair value measurement of the senior private notes that were placed by Vesteda Finance B.V. can be qualified as Level 2 valuation, with inputs other than quoted market prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability. In this case, interest rates and yield curves are observable at commonly quoted intervals.

The fair value measurement of the senior notes placed by Vesteda Finance B.V. under its EMTN program as a private placement transaction can be qualified as Level 2 valuation, with inputs other than quoted market prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability. In this case, interest rates and yield curves are observable at commonly quoted intervals.

The senior public notes, the senior private notes and the senior notes privately placed under the EMTN program are all fixed rate.

Fixed rate debt is initially recognised at fair value net of transaction costs and subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

Financial instruments

Type

Notional amount

Estimated fair value amount

Level valuation

Senior public notes

1,300

1,403

1

Senior private notes

400

432

2

 

1,700

1,835

 

The €1,300 million in senior public notes represented an equivalent fair value estimate of €1,403 million at year-end 2020.

The €300 million in senior private notes represented an equivalent fair value estimate of €316 million at year-end 2020.

The €100 million in senior notes privately placed under the EMTN program represented an equivalent fair value estimate of €116 million at year-end 2020.

The estimated fair value amounts are excluding accrued interest.

The fair value of the senior public notes is determined on the basis of quoted prices, while the fair value of the senior private notes and the senior notes privately placed under the EMTN program is determined based on inputs other than quoted prices.