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Fitch U.S. Public Finance Third-Quarter Rating Actions.



NEW YORK New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 -- In the third quarter of 2007, Fitch Rating's U.S. Public Finance group upgraded 32 credits totaling $14.56 billion in par value while downgrading 14 credits totaling $1.63 billion in par value. This resulted in an upgrade-to-downgrade ratio of 2.9:1 in terms of the number of rating changes and a ratio of 8.9:1 on a par value basis. These ratios are below the second-quarter ratios of 5.86:1 on a number basis and 34.6:1 on a par value basis. However, this is the sixth straight quarter where upgrades outnumbered downgrades.

The largest upgrades on a par basis were two transportation credits, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an independent airport authority, created by the United States Congress to oversee management, operations, and capital development of Washington, D.C. , DC (upgraded to 'AA' from 'AA-') and Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, airport revenue bonds airport revenue bond

Tax-exempt debt issued by a city, county, state, or airport authority with debt service guaranteed either by general revenues generated by the airport or by lease payments for facilities used by a particular airline.
 (upgraded to 'AA-' from 'A+'), with par amounts of $3.93 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively. Two other large upgraded issuers were in the health care sector: Adventist Health System The Adventist Health System is the organisation responsible for overseeing matters related to Hospitals and other medical facilities, related to the Seventh-day Adventist Church within the United States.  Sunbelt, FL, with $2.96 billion par (upgraded to 'AA-' from 'A+'), and New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
 Health & Hospitals Corp general revenue bonds with $962 million of par (upgraded to 'A-' from 'BBB+').

There were 18 tax-supported credits upgraded during the quarter, with a total par value of $1.54 billion. Two issuers represented over half of the upgraded par: Orange County, FL ($446.6 million), upgraded to 'AA' from 'AA-', and San Francisco Bay Area “Bay Area” redirects here. For other uses, see Bay Area (disambiguation).

The San Francisco Bay Area, colloquially known as the Bay Area or The Bay
 Rapid Transit District, CA ($487.2 million), upgraded to 'AAA' from 'AA+'. Other notable tax-supported upgrades included $143 million of Coppell Independent School District's, TX general obligation (GO) bonds to 'AA' from 'AA-' as well as $138.6 million of sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government.  revenue bonds issued by Leon County - City of Tallahassee, FL Blueprint 2000 Intergovernmental Agency to 'AA-' from 'A+'.

Of the 14 downgrades, there were five tax-supported (Fort Worth, TX tax & revenue and lease bonds; Pilot Point Independent School District Pilot Point Independent School District is a public school district based in Pilot Point, Texas (USA).

Located in Denton County, portions of the district extend into Cooke and Grayson counties.
, TX; Pontiac General Building Authority, MI; and Red Mesa Unified School District A unified school district is a school district which includes both primary school (kindergarten through middle school or junior high) and high school (grades 9-12). In Illinois, these districts are called unit school districts.  No. 27, AZ), two health care (Harrogate, Inc., NJ; Windham Hospital, CT), two water & sewer (Fort Worth, TX; and Pontiac, MI), and one transportation credit (Las Vegas Monorail The Robert N. Broadbent Las Vegas Monorail is a mass transit system located in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. It is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Monorail Company. For tax purposes, the Monorail is registered as a charity, which is allowed under Nevada law since the Monorail  Company, NV). Additionally, four of the total downgrades were Native American Gaming credits affected by the rating criteria changes as described in the Fitch report 'Native American Gaming: Rating Methodology', dated Sept. 4, 2007 and available on the Fitch web site at www.fitchratings.com. The affected credits were Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, OR; Laguna Development Corp, NM; Pueblo of Santa Ana, NM; and San Manuel Entertainment Authority, CA.

As of Sept. 30, 26 credits were on Rating Watch Negative and two were on Rating Watch Positive compared to 21 on Watch Negative and two on Watch Positive at the end of the second quarter. The median number of credits on Watch Negative since Fitch began producing quarterly actions is 23. During the third quarter, seven credits were removed from Watch Negative. Of the seven, six were removed in conjunction with downgrades and one in conjunction with an upgrade. The downgraded credits were Laguna Development Corporation's gaming revenue bonds ('BB'); Pontiac General Building Authority's GOs ('B+'); Pontiac's sewer revenue bonds ('BB-'); Pontiac water revenue bonds ('BB-'); Pueblo of Santa Ana's enterprise special obligation bonds ('BB+'); and San Manuel Entertainment Authority's general revenue bonds ('BBB'). The upgraded credit was Lodi Electric Utility's electric system certificates of participation ('BBB'). Additionally, three credits were placed on Watch Negative during the third quarter: Friendship Village of Schaumburg's general revenue bonds ('BB+'); Jordan School District's GOs ('AAA'), and Monroe County's GOs ('BBB+').

As of Sept. 30, 2007, there were 103 U.S. public finance credits with a Positive Rating Outlook and 82 with a Negative Rating Outlook. This translated to a ratio of 1.26:1, the highest ratio of credits with a Positive-to-Negative Outlook since Fitch started publishing the ratio in 2002. The last three quarters have all had Positive-to-Negative Outlook ratios greater than 1:1. Of the 103 credits with a Positive Rating Outlook, 47 were in the tax-backed sector.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use Terms of Use are rules set up by the owner of an intellectual property or service to govern how they may be legally used.

In many cases, terms of service are used as a contractual agreement between a company and users of a service they provide.
 of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, www.fitchratings.com. Published ratings, criteria and methodologies are available from this site, at all times. Fitch's code of conduct, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, affiliate firewall, compliance and other relevant policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental  are also available from the 'Code of Conduct' section of this site.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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