DIVERSIFIED property player Aspen Group Ltd says its conservative debt position has placed it in a ‘sound position’, despite the volatility and uncertainty prevailing in the listed property sector. In a group business update released to the Australian Securities Exchange last week, Aspen said its gearing position remained at conservative levels, with total debt facilities of $219 million representing a gearing position of 35 per cent. This was consistent with the group’s stated long-term gearing range of 30 per cent to 40 per cent. This facility is not due to expire until October 2011. Aspen managing director Angelo Del Borrello said the combination of quality property assets and active asset management had enabled it to benefit from the firm commercial property market in key locations across Australia. Independent revaluations were recently undertaken on three of its properties, resulting in the portfolio increasing $36.6 million to $377.8 million, in line with strong leasing activity and firm market conditions. Aspen’s total debt comprises core debt of $117 million, which is fully hedged against increases in interest rates for a further three years.
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