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VIRGINIA PORT AUTHORITY $20 MILLION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Port Authority's $20 million Port Facilities General Revenue Bonds, Series 1993, offered for bids on January 13, are rated "AA" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. The bonds will be due July 1, 1993-2009 and are callable beginning July 1, 2001, at 102 percent. The bonds are payable solely from the net revenues of the authority and contributions from the Commonwealth of Virginia, as appropriated. In practice, Virginia has appropriated for the bulk of debt service on obligations of the authority.
 The rating on the authority's general revenue bonds is based on the credit of the Commonwealth of Virginia, reflecting the historical record of appropriations. The commonwealth is under no legal obligation to continue to appropriate and there are no formal evidences of obligation, such as a lease or a contract. However, the longstanding record, including continued appropriation during a period of financial stress and the importance economically of the port facilities of the commonwealth indicate that appropriation support will continue. The commonwealth's general obligation bonds are rated "AAA", reflecting its resources, low debt burden, conservative policies and the retention of financial balance during a recession when adverse effects were both sudden and harsh.
 The authority has the responsibility for the very extensive port facilities in the Hampton Roads Harbor region, as well as an inland port. The facilities are operated by the Virginia International Terminals, Inc., (VIT) a Virginia non-stock, nonprofit private corporation. Pursuant to an operating agreement, VIT makes monthly transfers to the authority for operating expenses, debt service and capital purposes, as needed. In fact, VIT's net revenues would provide good coverage for debt service were state appropriations not made. Hampton Roads is one of the major east cost ports, handling 7.6 million short tons of general cargo in 1991, up about 6 percent from 1990. The new bonds will finance a portion of the acquisition costs of about 67 acres of land and improvements in Norfolk, adjacent to existing authority property. The port is a major contributor to the economy of Virginia.
 -0- 1/4/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/


CO: Virginia Port Authority ST: Virginia IN: MAR SU: RTG

TS -- NY051 -- 1321 01/04/93 12:36 EST
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Date:Jan 4, 1993
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