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MIDDLESEX COUNTY IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY (N.J.) $5.4 MILLION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Middlesex County Improvement Authority's (N.J.) $5.4 million county-guaranteed capital equipment lease revenue bonds, series 1993 are rated 'AAA' by Fitch. The bonds will be offered through negotiation on or about Sept. 30 with First Fidelity Securities Group. Dated Nov. 1, 1993, the bonds will mature serially Nov. 1, 1994-2008. Call provisions are to be determined. The authority's $7.1 million outstanding 'AAA' county-guaranteed capital equipment lease revenue bonds and the county's $183.5 million 'AAA' general obligation bonds are affirmed.
 The bonds bear a full and unconditional guarantee from the county to pay principal and interest. The county has the power and obligation to levy ad valorem taxes for its payments under the guarantee. Therefore, the credit characteristics of the authority's bonds are those provided by the county; the credit of the municipalities making lease payments is of concern to the county to gauge the likelihood of the guarantee being utilized.
 Middlesex County's strong, diverse economic base makes it one of New Jersey's most creditworthy counties. Located midway between Philadelphia and New York City, Middlesex is one of the state's major employment centers and headquarters locations.
 The recession slowed development, with residential construction progressing at a better pace than commercial/industrial development. The unemployment rate increased in tandem with the state rate in 1992, surpassing the national average for the first time during the recession. The county's infrastructure is generally in place, with the capital improvement program primarily aimed at upgrading and rehabilitating facilities; no large projects are planned.
 Debt levels are low. While debt service costs as a percentage of the budget are above average, this is mitigated by the very rapid payout and generally narrow responsibilities of New Jersey counties. The county's financial performance is strong, with good fund balances maintained annually. The credit trend is stable.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Ruth M. Levine of Fitch, 212-908-0605/


CO: Middlesex County Improvement Authority ST: New Jersey IN: SU: RTG

WB -- NY076 -- 6018 09/27/93 15:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993
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