Moody's Investors Service Announces Downgrade of New America High Income Fund's Auction Term Preferred Stock to Aa3
BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 07/17/12 -- On July 12, 2012, Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's"), one of two nationally recognized statistical rating organizations currently rating the Auction Term Preferred Stock ("ATP") of The New America High Income Fund, Inc. (the "Fund") (NYSE: HYB), announced that it has downgraded the ATP from Aaa to Aa3. This action occurred following a review by Moody's of its ratings of the securities of all closed-end registered investment companies, which was undertaken in conjunction with the adoption of changes to the methodology Moody's uses to rate securities issued by closed-end funds. The Fund's ATP continues to have a credit rating in the highest rating category from Fitch Ratings, which affirmed its rating on March 1, 2012.
In response to the action by Moody's, it is anticipated the Fund will redeem all outstanding shares of ATP at their liquidation preference (par value) plus accumulated but unpaid dividends within 120 days of the downgrade, as provided by the terms of the ATP. The Fund expects to establish a line of credit to finance the redemption of the ATP and maintain its leveraged capital structure. The alternative financing is expected to be more costly to the Fund than the ATP, which could reduce the net income otherwise available for distribution to common stockholders. Depending on the Fund's success in obtaining alternative financing, the Fund's leveraged capital structure may need to be eliminated or scaled back, which would likely reduce the net income otherwise available in the future for distribution to holders of the Fund's common stock. From the date of the downgrade until the ATP is redeemed, the dividend rate for the ATP will be increased from its current rate of 150% of the 30-day AA composite commercial paper rate to 300% of the 30-day AA composite commercial paper rate, as provided by the terms of the ATP.
The New America High Income Fund, Inc. is a diversified, closed-end management investment company with a leveraged capital structure. The Fund's investment adviser is T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. ("T. Rowe Price"). As of March 31, 2012, T. Rowe Price and its affiliates managed approximately $555 billion of assets, including approximately $21.4 billion of "high yield" investments. T. Rowe Price has provided investment advisory services to investment companies since 1937.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which you can identify by the use of words such as "anticipate" and 'intends" and similar expressions that do not relate to historical matters. You should exercise caution in interpreting and relying on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Fund's control and could materially affect actual results or performance. These factors include, without limitation, the Fund's ability to obtain a rating for the ATP from S&P that would satisfy the ratings criteria in the Fund's charter, the availability and cost of alternative financing to replace the ATP, regulatory changes, and other risks and uncertainties. The Fund does not undertake a duty to update or revise any forward-looking statement, including its actions in response to a possible downgrade of the ATP by Moody's, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Ellen E. Terry