The Japanese earthquake and the crisis that resulted should put pressure on Hawaiian tourism.
This will, in turn, probably intensify the stress on the Hawaiian hotel sector and some retail centers in the coming years, Fitch Ratings said in its latest weekly U.S. CMBS newsletter.
"Hotels in Hawaii may be slow to recover with the rate of large-scale bookings likely to decelerate, fuel prices remaining high, and less Japanese tourists likely to return,' Managing Director Mary MacNeill said. 'Many CMBS loans in Hawaii will have difficulty refinancing without the borrower contributing significant additional equity.'
She added that although these hotels' cash flow will probably be immediately affected, the effect on retail loans might lag. "Slowing tourism is likely to lead to sales decline, which could potentially put stress on retail occupancy rates and their resulting cash flow," she said.
The rating agency's portfolio has 13 hotel loans that range from $8 million to $848 million that are in Hawaii, with 11 of the 12 worth more than $20 million. There are 11 retail loans bigger than $20 million in Fitch's rated portfolio.