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July 3 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings says in a newly-published report that its outlook for UK pub and healthcare whole business securitisations (WBS) is predominantly negative for 2H14. This is driven by the stretched spending power of UK consumers (with a continuing decline in average real income) and public spending austerity (mainly affecting healthcare funding), and regulatory pressures. However, the outlook for managed and hybrid pub transactions has stabilised, and remains mainly stable for other sectors within the UK WBS universe.
The negative outlook for the leased and tenanted pub sector has been affected by the potential introduction of a statutory code regulating the relationship between pub companies and tenants. With the Statutory Code Bill now progressing through Parliament, legislative action appears more likely.
Regulatory uncertainty has eased in the healthcare sector with the introduction of the Care Act 2014 and the publication of the Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) report, both in April 2014. Fitch expects the new financial regulation of care home operators to positively impact the sector in the medium- to long-term by promoting greater performance stability.
Fitch also expects the ratings of some transactions to be driven by restructuring and refinancing in the short term. For all other transactions, the UK economy remains a key driver of performance, and could impact outlooks if it deviates significantly from current expectations.
The report, entitled '2014 Mid-Year Outlook: UK Whole Business Securitisations' is available at www.fitchratings.com.
Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: 2014 Mid-Year Outlook: UK Whole Business Securitisations