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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI CO-OP $27.4 MILLION GUARANTEED PCR BONDS 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Lamar County, Mississippi's $27.4 million National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. guaranteed pollution control revenue refunding bonds (South Mississippi Electric Power Association Project) pooled series 1993S are rated `A+' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. The bonds are scheduled to sell the week of Oct. 18 by a Lehman Brothers syndicate.
 The rating reflects the unconditional guarantee provided by CFC to make full and timely payments of principal and interest on the bonds. The bonds will be secured by, and subject to, the pool indenture. CFC is a not-for-profit cooperative association responsible for providing its rural electric cooperative members with supplemental financing to the Rural Electric Administration's (REA) loan program. In addition to direct loans, CFC provides guarantees for tax-exempt financing of pollution control facilities and other properties constructed or acquired by its members.
 CFC's sound financial performance continues, despite recent financial difficulties of some of its larger borrowers. For fiscal year ended May 31, 1993, CFC reported a times interest earned ratio (TIER) of 1.16 times (x), above targeted levels. Added protection is provided by a $172.6 million allowance for loan and guarantee losses, which as of May 31, 1993, represented 2.13 percent of total loans and guarantees outstanding. Other strengths include a large and diverse membership and a first lien on members' assets and future revenues. Credit concerns include continued exposure to Deseret Generation & Transmission Cooperative, one of CFC's larger borrowers, which is operating under a restructuring agreement with its major creditors, and uncertainty related to the changing rural electric cooperative industry.
 South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) is a generation and transmission (G&T) co-op providing wholesale electric service to its 11 distribution cooperative members, which sell power to approximately 284,000 member consumers. SMEPA's resource mix includes ownership interests in gas/oil, coal, and nuclear facilities, as well as power purchases. The G&T also owns transmission lines and is interconnected with several utilities. Historical financials have been satisfactory with a 1.07x TIER and a 1.17x debt service coverage in 1992.
 -0- 10/13/93
 /CONTACT: Susan M. Courtney, 212-908-0503, or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch)


CO: South Mississippi Electric Power Association ST: Mississippi IN: UTI SU: RTG

CK -- NY084 -- 1782 10/13/93 14:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 1993
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