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NEW HAMPSHIRE $100 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW HAMPSHIRE $100 MILLION GO BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- New Hampshire's $100 million General Obligation Capital Improvement and Refunding Bonds, 1992 Series, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The bonds are expected by negotiation through a syndicate led by Merrill Lynch & Co. on September 1. The 'AA' rating assigned to $528.9 million outstanding general obligations is affirmed. The credit trend is stable.
 The new bonds will include $40 million for capital purposes, with the remainder being applied to refunding for interest rate savings. It is possible that only the new money portion will be issued, depending on market conditions. The bonds will be due on Sept. 1, but the maturity structure and call provisions have not yet been determined.
 New Hampshire has an excellent debt position, with all direct debt carrying a general obligation pledge. While there is a considerable amount of guaranteed debt, the portions where the state has any real exposure are within manageable limits. Debt ratios are very moderate and amortization of debt is rapid.
 After several years of strong growth, New Hampshire's economy stalled in 1990 and declines have continued, although at slower rates recently. Employment is well below the peak of the late 1980's and unemployment, previously half or less than the U.S. level, now is on a parity. Personal income has followed a similar trend, with almost no growth in 1991.
 Financial operations have reflected the abrupt change in the economy. Revenues have been below estimates and expenditures, particularly for social programs, have risen. The general fund closed with a deficit at the end of 1990-91 and faced a considerable gap for 1991-92. Enactment of a Medicaid enhancement tax, however, has balanced unrealized revenue and this, together with other budgetary actions, has allowed the state to close the 1991-92 fiscal year with a small surplus. The 1992-93 budget is in balance and appears to be based on reasonable assumptions.
 -0- 8/28/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch 212-908-0552/ CO: State of New Hampshire ST: New Hampshire IN: SU: RTG


DC -- NY015 -- 4295 08/28/92 10:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 28, 1992
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