Moody’s Investors Service last week affirmed the long-term rating of Aa3 that it assigns the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority’s variable-rate revenue bonds and upgraded the short-term rating to VMIG-1.

The agency raised the short-term ratings for $225 million of variable rate Series 2006B, 2006C, 2006D and 2006E bonds to VMIG-1. Moody’s acted in conjunction with the executed amendments to each of the related standby bond purchase agreements provided by Depfa Bank.

Moody’s said that upon the effective date of the amendments on March 20, the automatic termination events under which Depfa could terminate its obligations to purchase the bonds without notice were amended to include certain events of default. Those events include the authority failing to pay principal or interest due on the bonds on time and it filing for bankruptcy.

Moody’s also upgraded the short-term rating to VMIG-1 for $75 million of Series 2006A bonds in conjunction with the executed amendment to the standby bond purchase agreement provided by SunTrust Bank.

The variable-rate bonds also are insured by XL Capital Assurance Inc., which has a Moody’s financial strength rating of A3.

Ahead of its sale of $155 million of revenue bonds last year, the authority was upgraded to AA-minus from A-plus by Fitch Ratings and to Aa3 from A1 by Moody’s. There is no rating from Standard & Poor’s.

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