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MASSACHUSETTS $350 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'A' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

MASSACHUSETTS $350 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'A' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts' $350 million General Obligation Bonds, Consolidated Loan of 1991 Series D, are rated "A" by Fitch. The "A" rating assigned to approximately $8.3 billion outstanding general obligation bonds is affirmed. The new bonds are expected by negotiation through a syndicate led by Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. on Dec. 10. They will be issued as a combination of $100.8 million serials, again with deferral of initial maturity until 1998, and $249.2 million terms due July 1, 2006, 2010, and 2012. This issue represents about half of the commonwealth's 1991-92 capital needs, with a further $350 million bond issue scheduled for May, 1992.
 Due largely to receipt of certain federal reimbursements, the general fund closed its fiscal year at June 30, 1991, with a balance. The budget for 1991-92 is essentially in balance, with the recent upward revision of tax revenues offsetting expected declines in non-tax revenues. The cash position is also improving; no deferral of obligations occurred at the end of the 1991 fiscal year, and none is expected in the current year. The financial position can be described as improved, but extraordinary measures are still employed, including the recent refinancing of some $260 million of maturing debt, planned asset sales of reduced magnitude, and continued dependence on federal reimbursements. In addition, savings in Medicaid expenditures must still be realized. Serious pressures remain for the 1992-93 budget year, requiring discipline in both debt and financial operations. On the positive side, revenues for the first five months have continued to exceed estimates, and case load expansion is in line with the annualized supplemental budget need of $374 million. The credit trend is revised to stabilizing, reflecting the improved financial posture.
 Debt ratios continue to be well above average. Borrowing levels for the current fiscal year have been reduced and a lower level of operating borrowing is expected to be necessary. Economic recovery is not yet in evidence in the state.
 -0- 12/5/91
 /CONTACT: Claire G.Cohen, 212-908-0552 or Ruth Corson Maynard, 212-908-0596, both of Fitch/ CO: ST: Massachusetts IN: SU: RTG SH -- NY080 -- 9803 12/05/91 15:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 5, 1991
Words:373
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