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ILLINOIS TOLL AUTHORITY'S $334 MILLION REFUNDING BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority's $232 million Toll Highway Refunding Revenue Bonds, 1993 Series A are rated 'AA-' by Fitch. The authority's $102 million Toll Highway Refunding Revenue Bonds, 1993 Series B, will be multi-modal variable rate securities with a liquidity facility provided by Societe Generale and therefore are rated 'AA-/F-1+'. The credit trend is stable. The 'AA-' rating will apply to about $450 million outstanding parity bonds, as well as the Authority's $500 outstanding priority revenue bonds, after giving effect to the refunding.
 The 1993 bonds are being issued to advance refund about $6 million of the authority's outstanding refunding bonds, series 1985, and about $290 million of the authority's outstanding priority revenue bonds, 1986 series, and will result in approximately $13 million of present value savings for the authority. The 1993 bonds are expected to be sold through negotiation during the week of March 8 by a syndicate led by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.
 The authority's four tollway segments comprise the major motor vehicle transportation network in the greater Chicago region and about 90 percent of its users are non-discretionary commuters. The system has virtually no competing limited access highways in its service area. Therefore, demand for the system is highly inelastic and has resulted in strong operating and financial history. Toll rates have been raised only twice in the past, and at their current low level, allow ample leeway to enhance revenues as needed. Furthermore, toll increase approval is at the sole discretion of the authority's board of directors. The authority's management has strong operating and capital planning capabilities, apparent in its moderate debt burden concurrent with ongoing facility expansion, and further evidenced through its quality maintenance program, which always has been financed through internally generated surplus funds. As a result, the Illinois tollway system has one of the best safety records in the U.S. Only the relatively small portion of traffic represented by long haul trucks (8 percent - 14 percent) has shown vulnerability to recessionary cycles.
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: Andrea R. Bozzo of Fitch, 212-908-0515/


CO: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority ST: Illinois IN: SU:

LD -- NY092 -- 4243 03/08/93 17:39 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1993
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