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Moody's reaffirms OCTA's credit ratings.

ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 10, 1995--Moody's Investors Service Friday reaffirmed the Orange County Transportation Authority's credit ratings.

A full credit report and news release announcing OCTA's credit ratings reaffirmation was distributed by Moody's Friday.

Moody's placed the ratings on various OCTA obligations under review on Dec. 6, 1994 when the Orange County Investment Pool declared bankruptcy and all funds were frozen. The OCTA, with more than $1.3 billion on deposit in the pool, is the largest single investor in the Orange County Treasury.

"Moody's decision will help to restore local community and investor confidence in the Authority. The national rating agency's affirmation recognizes the OCTA's ability to meet all financial obligations and continue operations," said Chief Executive Officer Stan Oftelie. "The reaffirmation is a great message to Wall Street and to Orange County."

Ratings are assigned by Moody's and other agencies to grade bonds according to their credit qualities. Investors use the independent ratings to determine their selection of securities. The OCTA obligations and reaffirmed credit ratings are:

Aa -- 1992 Measure M First Senior Bonds

A1 -- 1992 Measure M Second Senior Bonds

A1 -- 1994 Measure M Second Senior Bonds

A1 -- 1990 Bus Certificates of Participation

A1 -- 1993 Bus Certificates of Participation

A -- 1987 Callbox Certificates of Participation

P-1 -- Commercial Paper Program

The reaffirmed Moody's ratings are positive news to Wall Street and investors because they represent an independent and objective assessment of credit risk. High quality ratings also will allow OCTA to borrow funds at lower rates since investors generally find highly-rated securities more attractive to select because of security.

The OCTA bonds should trade better in the secondary market, where those holding the initial issuances may sell to other investors more easily.

In the Orange County community, the reaffirmed Moody's rating means OCTA can access municipal markets as needed and continue with freeway construction improvements.

"Confirmation of the various ratings reflects continued strong coverage of debt obligations by pledged revenues, OCTA's flexibility to adapt its capital program to a potential loss in capital funds, and strong management capabilities," Moody's news release said.

In related news, the OCTA will meet its $46 million debt service payment on Measure M bonds, including principal and interest, due Feb. 15. Those payments are expected to be released to investors in the normal course of business by OCTA's Trustee State Street Bank & Trust of California, N.A.

CONTACT: Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange

Elaine Beno, media relations manager, 714/560-5571
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 10, 1995
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