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NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH (AK) $50 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION REFUNDING BONDS 'A-' BY FITCH

 NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately $50 million of North Slope Borough, AK's General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 1993C are rated "A-" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable. The bonds are scheduled to be sold through negotiation by George K. Baum and Co. on or about Dec. 14. The bonds mature June 30, 1994-1996 and are noncallable, with supplemental interest due on June 30, 1994. The bonds are secured by the borough's full faith and credit, unlimited ad valorem tax pledge.
 North Slope Borough's credit quality rests in the sizeable oil and gas reserves remaining in the area, and the resultant ongoing private sector investment. Although the oil and gas fields' production levels may fluctuate, taxable value is largely based on the huge capital investment in equipment required for oil and gas extraction and exploration. These activities are dominated by two major players, Atlantic Richfield Co. and British Petroleum Exploration, which account for 85% of the borough's taxable value. Recent investment in enhanced recovery methods has extended the estimated productive lives of existing fields and demonstrates a continued commitment to the region by these dominant corporate residents. The borough's financial position is sound and debt maturity is rapid.
 The borough's credit features are unique; its economy is highly concentrated in oil and gas exploration and development, it provides a wide variety of municipal services, and the area's remoteness and harsh climate make construction and operations costly. North Slope's oil and gas economy is both an asset and a liability, in that reserves represent vast wealth but create a dependence on one industry and, primarily, two companies. Enhanced recovery methods have increased the oil fields' productivity and useful lives and the amount of property and improvements taxable by the borough. Assessed value now is projected to peak at just over $13 billion for fiscal 1996, decreasing thereafter. After this refunding, debt service expense peaks in fiscal 1994, with all the borough's bonds retired by June 30, 2003.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: David C. Pink of Fitch, 212-908-0678 or Amy S. Doppelt, 212-908-0514/


CO: ST: Alaska IN: SU: RTG

LG -- NY064 -- 2327 12/09/93 15:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 9, 1993
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