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PORT OF SEATTLE, WASH., $139 MILLION REVENUE BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

PORT OF SEATTLE, WASH., $139 MILLION REVENUE BONDS RATED 'AA-' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Port of Seattle, Wash.'s $29 million junior lien revenue bonds, Series 1992A, and $110 million junior lien revenue bonds, Series 1992B, are rated "AA-" by Fitch. Port of Seattle's $23 million subordinate lien revenue bonds, Series 1992C, will be insured by MBIA, which is not rated by Fitch. The "AA-" rating is affirmed on $148 million outstanding parity junior lien revenue bonds and $205 million outstanding senior lien revenue bonds (this senior lien is closed). The credit trend is stable.
 The rating is based on the port's diversity of revenue sources, which are derived from marine port terminals, Sea-Tac International Airport, and an ad valorem tax levy in King County. These three solid revenue sources lend resiliency to the port's ability to service its revenue debt, as exhibited by its historical debt service coverage in excess of 2.0 times (x) over the past decade, including a period of recession in the early 1980's and the current recession.
 Sea-Tac's strengths include its mostly origination and destination (O&D) air service (70 percent) to a strong local economy, the absence of any one airline with a dominant market share, and no comparable airports within convenient driving distance. These strengths are counterbalanced by residual use and lease agreements with the airlines which inherently limit the port's upside revenue potential from airport operations. The agreements also require majority-in-interest approval from the signatory airlines for major projects.
 The marine division's strengths include its proximity to the Pacific Rim, its naturally deep harbors which need little costly dredging, its extensive trans-shipment facilities, relatively uncongested distribution capabilities, and sophisticated electronic data information systems. Offsetting these advantages are the division's vulnerability to nearby competitor Port of Tacoma as well as the other West Coast ports, and its dependence on five foreign countries for approximately 85 percent of its trade.
 Since its most recent revenue bond issuance in 1990, the port has undergone a major restructuring, with a net job reduction of about 50 employees on a base of about 1,200, which reduced costs about $3.6 million in fiscal 1991. The restructuring further focused the port on customer service, strategic planning and other corporate objectives, while maintaining its public accountability and mission. The current management team is strong and poised to maintain the port's strong performance in its highly competitive environment. By not raising the tax levy in fiscal 1990, although the assessed valuation of King County residential property increased significantly that year, the port commissioners preempted the threat of taxpayer revolt.
 -0- 4/10/92
 /CONTACT: Andrea R. Bozzo, 212-908-0515, or Susan Courtney, 212-908-0503, both of Fitch/ CO: Port of Seattle ST: Washington IN: MAR SU: RTG


GK -- NY067 -- 7433 04/10/92 17:58 EDT
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Date:Apr 10, 1992
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