The national bond-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Baa2 rating to the upcoming sale of approximately $80 million of Matching Fund Revenue Refunding Bonds by the Public Finance Authority, Government House announced Thursday.
Moody’s assigned a stable outlook to the government rating. Baa2 is a middle rating. Moody’s rates bonds on a scale of AAA to C; Baa2 is the ninth rank in their 21-rank scale.
The Series 2013 Matching Fund Bonds will be issued, pending approval by the Senate, to refund outstanding bonds issued in 2004 and 2009 in order to provide budgetary savings in the upcoming 2014 fiscal year. Legislation to authorize the issuance of the bonds is scheduled for consideration by the Senate on Tuesday.
“This action by Moody’s is timely,” Gov. John deJongh Jr. said. “The issuance of these Matching Fund Bonds is an important piece of the budget for the coming year, and we look forward to positive consideration of the authorizing legislation by the Senate at its upcoming session.”
“There are many choices yet to be made, and certainly the recent action rejecting our plans to move forward to pursue a sale of the Hovensa refinery will likely increase our legal and other costs in the near term, and require continued costs reductions over the next several years,” he continued. “We are gratified that each of the three rating agencies continue to take the time to understand the challenges that we face and our careful consideration of alternative paths forward, and have each continued to assign stable or positive outlooks to our ratings.”
This action by Moody’s completes the government’s rating reviews for the upcoming sale of bonds. Earlier in August another major bond-rating agency, Fitch Ratings gave the bonds a medium-high BBB+, similar to the Moody’s rating.
“Now we will move on to work directly with the institutional investor community to respond to their questions and to seek their interest in and support for this transaction,” said Commissioner of Finance and PFA Executive Director Angel E. Dawson Jr.