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VIRGINIA'S $20.6 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

VIRGINIA'S $20.6 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AAA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The commonwealth of Virginia's $20.6 million higher educational institutions bonds, general obligations, have been rated 'AAA' by Fitch. The credit trend is stable, although financial vulnerability is present in the short term. The bonds, which include $15.8 million Series 1992 A, and $4.7 million Series 1992 B (Taxable), will be offered for bids on Jan. 22. They will be serials, due on June 1, 1993-2012, and callable beginning June 1, 2002, at 102 percent.
 Virginia has substantial resources and these, together with a long tradition of conservative finances and cautious use of debt, provide superior bond security. The burden of debt remains light, with net tax supported debt equal to $228 per capita, 0.4 percent of estimated full value and 1.2 percent of personal income, all low ratios.
 After several years of rapid growth, Virginia is now suffering from the effects of the recession. The past two fiscal years were characterized by revenue shortfalls, balanced by budgetary cuts. The current fiscal year continues to follow that pattern, with a downward revenue estimate released in December. The governor's recommended budget for the 1992-94 biennium foresees low rates of revenue increase of 1.9 percent this year, 3.8 percent next year and 5.9 percent in 1993-94. The presented budget is balanced, with the implementation of a Medicaid provider tax and reductions in proposed agency spending among other actions. A nominal balance of about $9 million is estimated to remain at the close of the biennium.
 Employment continues to be somewhat below a year ago and unemployment in November was 5.6 percent, higher than immediately preceding months but still well below the national level. The state expects recovery to be slow, with losses in employment through 1992 and the unemployment rate remaining above 5 percent through 1994.
 -0- 1/20/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: ST: Virginia IN: SU: RTG


CK -- NY057 -- 1561 01/20/92 17:37 EST
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Date:Jan 20, 1992
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