Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wall Street Again Upgrades Richmond Bonds


RVA now one step from top – 6 upgrades in 5 years 

 Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has upgraded Richmond’s general obligation debt rating to AA+, the next-to-highest rating possible. S&P specifically praised the city’s strong financial performance, including its strong reserves, continued investment in economic development projects and adopted fiscal and debt policies.

“This upgrade is proof positive that our financial and economic actions are paying off,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Wall Street recognizes that Richmond is on the move. We’ve now earned six upgrades in five years, demonstrating that investors are confident in Richmond and our ability to make big things happen.”

S&P cited Richmond’s significant role in the regional economy, experienced management team, moderate per capita debt and manageable capital plan as significant factors in the decision to upgrade. The Mayor, along with members of Richmond City Council and city officials met with the three bond rating agencies in New York earlier this month. S&P issued the upgrade yesterday. Fitch and Moody’s affirmed existing ratings noting that city management has implemented prudent financial and debt policies and that the city’s debt burden is moderate.

“Solid financial performance is the foundation of everything,” Jones said. “It is especially gratifying that our management practices and economic development strategies have yielded these results given the challenging economic times the country has been facing. The six collective upgrades over the past several years have and will continue to save the city several million dollars.”

David Rose, senior vice president and manager of Public Finance for Davenport & Company, LLC, commented, “S&P’s upgrade is just the latest affirmation that the Jones Administration continues to manage the City’s finances in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.  Overall, the City of Richmond enjoys credit ratings above those of Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C.”