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FLORIDA $182 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's $182 million full faith and credit, state board of education, public education capital outlay bonds, 1992 series E, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The state's outstanding $7.8 billion 'AA' full faith and credit bonds are affirmed. The credit trend is stable. The new bonds will be offered for bids on 24 hours' notice the week of Jan. 17. Dated Feb. 1, 1994, bonds will be due serially June 1, 1995-2023, with term maturities in 2009-2023 requiring mandatory redemption subject to designation by bidder. Bonds will be callable beginning June 1, 2003 at 101%.
 Nearly all of Florida's full faith and credit bonds are secured by specific revenues. The public education capital outlay bonds are secured by second and third liens on the gross receipts tax, subject to $136.3 million first lien public education bonds. This issue is secured by a third lien on the gross receipts tax. Collections have risen rapidly, with annual rate changes and base enlargement since 1990. While issuance of additional debt requires 1.11 times (x) coverage (90% of the collection average of the preceding 24 months), the tax yield provides a current 1.31x debt service coverage level for the $4.7 billion bonds outstanding for this purpose.
 Florida's credit assessment takes into account the specific tax dedications for each type of debt as well as the full faith and credit of the state. The state's profile may be characterized by rapid growth, economic broadening, and diversification. Services and trade have developed extensively, supplementing and expanding the traditional agricultural/tourism base. While this has smoothed recessionary effects, growth in the past few years dropped sharply, and has been complicated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Financial performance, however, has been better than expected. Revenues in 1992-93 were higher than estimated, although sales tax collections lagged slightly, but the year closed with a $543 million balance, 23% above the May estimate. Operations in 1993- 94 are expected to reduce reserves to about $280 million. Employment growth has accelerated in recent months, now exceeding the 1990 peak, and personal income gains strengthened in 1993's first half.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Ruth Corson Maynard of Fitch, 212-908-0596/


CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

WB -- NY101 -- 1955 01/13/94 17:59 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1994
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