Shares in supermarket retailer Casino fall as debt concerns linger

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PARIS (Reuters) – Shares in French supermarket retailer Casino (PA:) fell on Wednesday as its new plans to seek more financing failed to ease concerns over its debts, and raised the risk of a cut to its dividend.

Casino’s shares were down 1.3% in early session trading.

Late on Tuesday, Casino said it planned to raise 1.5 billion euros through additional bank lending to strengthen its finances. The banks’ participation was conditional upon raising at least 1 billion euros by May next year.

It also said it would look to extend its debt maturities for another four years.

“The new credit facilities limit the dividend payout to 50% of underlying earnings per share. That implies a roughly 65% divi cut from our current model, and reduces company’s dividend yield from 7% to 2.5%,” wrote analysts at brokerage Bernstein, which kept an “underperform” rating on Casino.

Ratings agency Moody’s also cut its rating on Casino.

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