"The change in Emart's rating outlook to stable from negative reflects its improved financial leverage in 2017, and our expectation that such deleveraging will continue into 2018, primarily owing to a decrease in adjusted debt," Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer Wan Hee Yoo said in a statement.
The rating agency expected Emart's reduced rental expenses will allow its adjusted debt to decrease moderately, despite the fact that the discount store chain's capital spending will likely remain high and its business environment will remain difficult, it said.
The reduction in rental expenses was helped by Emart's sale of its five hypermarket stores in China in December last year, Moody's said.
Emart is South Korea’s biggest discount store chain and an affiliate of Shinsegae Group, a retail giant. (Yonhap)