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FLORIDA $362.3 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's $362.3 million Full Faith and credit, State Board of Education, Public Education Capital Outlay Refunding Bonds, 1993 Series A, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The 'AA' rating assigned to $5.7 billion outstanding full faith and credit bonds is affirmed. The credit trend remains stable. The new bonds, being offered of bids on April 20, will be due June 1, 1994-2010, with maturities in 2004-2010 subject to designation as term bonds with mandatory redemption, at bidder's option. Proceeds of the issue will be entirely for refunding purposes. They will be not callable.
 Nearly all of Florida's full faith and credit bonds are secured by specific revenues. The public education capital outlay bonds are secured by a lien on the gross receipts tax; collections of the tax provide about 1.39 times coverage for debt service on the $3.8 billion bonds issued for the purpose.
 Florida's credit assessment takes into account the specific tax dedications for each type of debt as well as the full faith and credit of the state. The state's profile may be characterized by rapid growth, economic broadening, and diversification. Services and trade have developed extensively, supplementing and modifying the traditional agriculture-tourism base. While this has smoothed recessionary effects, growth has dropped sharply in the past few years, led by the construction industry, and complicated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
 Financial operations have been under some pressure from the adverse economy, but expenditure reductions, as well as some revenue measures, allowed the state to retain a fiscal 1992 balance of about $184 million, higher than earlier anticipated. Revenues this year are at about the estimated level and a balance of $405 million is expected at June 30, 1993. Operations in 1993-94 will reduce reserves to about $287 million at year end. The budget, with no major tax changes, has been adopted.
 Employment has again begun to grow and the state's unemployment rate is just below the national rate. A sizable increase in construction jobs as well as the trend of sales tax receipts indicate that rebuilding efforts from hurricane destruction are underway.
 -0- 4/19/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

LD -- NY112 -- 7601 04/19/93 16:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 19, 1993
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