Magazine article Public Finance

Foundation Borrowing 'Cheaper' Via Monitor

Magazine article Public Finance

Foundation Borrowing 'Cheaper' Via Monitor

Article excerpt

Proposals to turn the foundation trust regulator Monitor into a shareholder' in NHS foundation trusts will allow cheaper borrowing, but could conflict with the principle of the trusts' independence, a leading credit analyst has said.

As part of the review into the future of health care market regulation, ministers are said to be considering allowing Monitor to use trusts' collective assets to leverage low-cost borrowing from the private sector.

Hugo Foxwood, credit analyst at Standard and Poor's, told Public Finance: 'With a diversity of assets, its high political profile and government support, a Monitor mark II could attract a high investment grade rating, such as A+, or AAA.'

By comparison, S&P published a report earlier this year warning that the combined market uncertainties of payment by results and Patient Choice meant that lone foundations could be given the lowest investment rating of BBB-, just above 'junk' status. …

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