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Posted on: June 16, 2014

County’s “Very Strong” Credit Rating Reaffirmed by Three Bond Agencies

WAILUKU, MAUI, Hawai‘i – Mayor Alan Arakawa today announced the newly confirmed credit ratings for the County of Maui’s Series 2014 General Obligation Bonds as Aa1/AA+/AA+ by the three major rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch. All three rating agencies attached “stable” outlook to their ratings, which illustrates their confidence in the County’s strong management and financial position.

Moody’s Investors Service noted that the agency’s “Aa1” rating is a reflection of the County’s strong management team and solid fiscal stance projected to remain stable in the near future. The rating agency stated that “Indeed, the County has consistently sought to improve its financial position in recent years as evidenced by growing the emergency reserve fund.”

Standard & Poors Corporation cited “strong management” and “very strong budgetary flexibility with strong budgetary performance” as supporting its AA+ Rating.

Fitch Ratings cited Maui’s strong financial position, stating that “the AA+ rating reflects the County’s strong financial position, supported by substantial reserves, consistently balanced operations, demonstrated revenue flexibility and prudent management practices.”

Mayor Arakawa said he is extremely proud of the hard work his administration has undertaken to ensure that the County’s finances are robust. “This has definitely been a team effort, and I want to commend our dedicated Finance team for putting together a very thorough and compelling presentation to the rating agencies,” he said. He also acknowledged Budget Director Sandy Baz for his work with the County Council to support prudent management practices during the Budget process.

The County is preparing to sell approximately $70 million in bonds to pay for new Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and to refund existing higher interest bonds. A portion of the bond sale will be used to refund the 2004 and 2006 Bond Series. “This sale will allow us to retire high-interest bonds and save the County money on interest payments,” said Danny Agsalog, Director of Finance.

Agsalog said the County conducted a very successful competitive bond sale in 2012, receiving 13 bids from all the major bond underwriting firms. Managing Director Keith Regan said he is confident the County will get the best deal in the upcoming competitive bond sale. “We will save taxpayer dollars if we can duplicate the successful bond sale we held in 2012 and receive a low interest rate for the County,” Regan said.

This year’s competitive sale has been scheduled for Thursday, June 26, 2014.

For more information, contact Finance Director Danny Agsalog at 270-7844.

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More Info: Maui County General Obligation Bonds
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