State’s bond rating gets a boost

Governor Linda Lingle announced recently that officials at Fitch Ratings have assigned an AA rating to the state of Hawai‘i’s planned $350-million, general-obligation-bond sale, and upgraded the rating of approximately $4.1 billion in outstanding general-obligation bonds to AA from AA-.  

“The positive ratings reflect investor confidence in Hawai‘i’s strengthening economy, as well as the state’s overall long-term economic policies and fiscal management,” Lingle said in a press release.

“When we met with the bond raters earlier this month, they were encouraged by the state’s strong revenue outlook and the approach we are taking to maintain fiscal discipline and effectively manage our resources,” said Lingle.

In announcing their Hawai‘i rating, officials at Fitch Ratings said, “The upgrade to ‘AA’ is based on the increasing strength of Hawai‘i’s economy, which has led to stellar revenue growth and very large fund balances.

“Financial operations have been maintained soundly, even under stressful periods, and budgetary procedures are conservative,” the Fitch source said.

Fitch Ratings personnel also cited the financial balances, which have “improved and have been retained following a difficult period in fiscal 2001-2003, when revenues fell short and balances were reduced.”

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