Richmond Receives Enhanced Credit Rating Outlook

This week, Moody’s revised upward its credit rating outlook for the City of Richmond, from “stable” to “positive,” and reaffirmed the city’s credit rating of “Aa2,” citing strong trajectories in the city’s finances and growing economy. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch also both reaffirmed their “AA+” credit ratings, which are considered highly rated and are just one notch below “AAA,” the highest possible rating attainable.

Following the visit last month to New York by Mayor Stoney and city administration leaders, Richmond received reaffirmation of its credit ratings from all three agencies in connection with its upcoming general obligation bond issuance. Richmond has once again been designated as “AAA” for Operating Performance by Fitch Ratings.

“I am encouraged that just 15 months after presenting our key accomplishments and progress to these rating agencies, Moody’s has issued this revised, ‘positive’ outlook, reaffirming the city’s improved and solid financial standing and upward trajectory,” said Mayor Stoney. “These strong ratings will save the city millions of dollars in borrowing that can be used to fund core priorities like schools and public safety.”

Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn added, “The city’s revised credit rating outlook has been accomplished with the tireless efforts of our finance staff. We are trending with strong operating results and an improved financial position due also to our large and growing tax base.”

David Rose of Davenport & Co. reaffirmed as much, saying, “Moody’s was clearly impressed by the mayor’s bold vision for the city and key accomplishments of the past 15 months. This upward revision to a ‘positive’ outlook reflects the continued strong momentum in Richmond’s financial performance, economy and tax base.”

In connection with these recent ratings, the city anticipates selling approximately $57 million of tax-exempt and taxable general obligation bonds for general capital and economic development projects by the end of July.