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MARYLAND $120 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH --FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE (FFW)--

 MARYLAND $120 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH
 --FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE (FFW)--
 NEW YORK, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of Maryland's $120 million general obligation bonds, state and local facilities loan of 1992, first series, to be offered for bids on May 13, are rated 'AAA' by Fitch. The 'AAA' rating assigned to $2.1 billion outstanding general obligations is affirmed and the credit trend remains stable. The new bonds will be serials due May 15, 1995-2007, and callable on and after May 15, 2002, at redemption prices staggered by maturity date. As with all general obligations, the state's full faith and credit and taxing power are unconditionally pledged.
 Maryland has excellent credit characteristics and prospects. Its diversified economic base, with less than average dependence on manufacturing, has lent stability historically, and the current recession is viewed as cyclical in nature. Debt policy, centered on an affordability concept, has kept the burden of debt at a very moderate level, currently about 3 percent of personal income. Financial operations are conservative with balances normally achieved.
 The recession here has been longer and more severe than anticipated. The two major revenue sources, the income and sales taxes, have been very weak in the past two fiscal years. The combination of unrealized revenues and rising expenditures, primarily for Medicaid, threatened a deficit. After taking cost containment and other measures, this year the income and cigarette taxes were raised and the sales tax base broadened. A narrowly balanced budget is in place for 1992-93.
 Personal income growth was uncharacteristically low in 1991 and employment remains below the level of a year ago. However, there are indications of economic improvement in recent months with building permits and sales tax collections now showing growth.
 -0- 5/7/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: State of Maryland ST: Maryland IN: SU: RTG


TQ -- NY094 -- 7745 05/07/92 15:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 7, 1992
Words:318
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