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In its effort to help protect public money and ensure the fiscal stability of the municipal wastewater system, particularly during this turbulent time in the debt markets, the City and County of Honolulu successfully sold $112.440 million of fixed rate Wastewater System Revenue Bonds, Junior Series 2008A, on Tuesday, April 22nd.  The true interest cost for the Series 2008A Bonds was 4.617% -- an historically low all-in cost of borrowing for the City’s wastewater system.


The bonds were sold to refinance all of the City’s outstanding wastewater auction rate certificates in the amount of $106,750,000 to a fixed rate.  FSA, a municipal bond insurer, provided bond insurance for the offering, which allowed the bonds to be rated Aaa/AAA/AAA by all three rating agencies.


Local investors were first offered a pre-sale retail order on Monday, April 21st.  This resulted in the City receiving from local retail investors almost $30 million of orders, or over 25 percent of all of the bonds.  The following day, the balance of the bonds were sold to a wide range of institutional investors on the mainland and in Hawaii


“I am pleased that these bonds were so well received by investors,” said Mary Pat Waterhouse, director of the City Department of Budget and Fiscal Services  “This truly is a reflection of their confidence in the City.”


“Refinancing increasingly costly auction rate certificates at low, fixed interest is very beneficial to our wastewater financial picture," said Dr. Eric Takamura, director of Environmental Services.  "This gives us the ability to continue to improve our system, while keeping our system costs down."


 The rating agencies cited the wastewater system’s diverse and largely residential service area and strong financial performance as positive factors when reaffirming the City’s wastewater ratings.  The City received underlying ratings of A1/A+/A+ for the Junior Wastewater Bonds from all three rating agencies (the City’s Senior Wastewater Bond ratings of Aa3/AA-/AA- were also reaffirmed through the rating process).  The confirmation of strong underlying ratings was critical in ensuring the success of the City’s wastewater bond sale. 



Edlyn Taniguchi, Chief of Treasury, 768-3990

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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