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AUSTIN, TEXAS, COMBINED UTILITY SYSTEMS BONDS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Austin, Texas, Combined Utility Systems' $125 million revenue refunding bonds, series 1992B are rated A+' by Fitch. Ratings are affirmed on approximately $2 billion A+' outstanding prior lien bonds and $362.2 million A' subordinate lien bonds. The credit trend is stable. The bonds are scheduled to sell Jan. 20 on a negotiated basis by a Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. syndicate.
 The ratings reflect the combined electric, water, and wastewater systems' sound financial operations, competitive electric system rates, and the stability of Austin's economy. Reflecting the moderate growth in energy demand and current excess reserve margins, no additional generation will be required before 2000. Thus, capital expenditures and electric rate increases should be below those experienced in the past. Debt service coverage on outstanding prior and subordinate lien revenue bonds has historically been at satisfactory levels and is expected to remain above 1.50x in the future. Unusual weather conditions in fiscal 1992 contributed to a decline in net revenues available for debt service, resulting in slightly lower coverage.
 While water and wastewater rates are higher than those of most major Texas cities, a reduction in capital outlays should result in more moderate rate increases for these systems. However, even more important to the stability of the ratings is the city's ability to manage the recent decline in net revenues caused by falling interest rates, higher expenses, and lower water and electric sales as a result of the unusual weather.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Susan Courtney, 212-908-0503, or Alan Spen, 212-908-0594, both of Fitch/


CO: Austin, Texas ST: Texas IN: SU: RTG

CK -- NY035 -- 6842 01/20/93 11:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
Words:277
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