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Government Receives Bond Rating from Standard and Poor's

Sept. 8, 2006 – The V.I. Government has received a second investment grade bond rating of BBB- from Standard and Poor's, one of the world's largest rating firms.
According to the firm's Web site, BBB- is the lowest investment grade bond rating offered by Standard and Poor's.
A press release issued Friday from Government House said that the Public Finance Authority has also received an upgrade in its outstanding gross receipts revenue bonds from BBB to BBB+.
According to the release, the bonds will be refinanced later this month to fund the construction of the new Library and Record Center at Estate Tutu, along with "other capital projects."
The refinancing is expected to generate an "additional savings" of $15 million, the release said.
Late last month, the government was assigned a higher bond rating of Baa3 from Moody's Investors Service. Members from the government's financial team called the rating "the first step" in creating a high rating structure for the territory (See "Investment-Grade Bond Rating Only the First Step, Official Says").
According to representatives from Moody's, investors are more willing to invest in a country or security with a credit rating rather than those without one.
Long-term credit ratings, such as Baa3 and BBB-, indicate that country's ability to pay back the debt and provide a secure investment environment.
A third firm, Fitch Ratings, is expected to issue a report shortly.

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