Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp. can now enhance municipal bonds in Massachusetts after last week receiving its license to insure muni and local government debt there.

The state’s Division of Insurance issued the license on March 31, according to a letter from the department to the insurer.

Berkshire is owned by Warren Buffett and began insuring municipal bonds at the beginning of 2008 after several monoline bond insurers reported large write-downs due to losses in the subprime market.

While the three major rating agencies have downgraded many of the municipal insurers, Berkshire joins Assured Guaranty Corp. and Financial Security Assurance Inc. as insurers with solid triple-A ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings.

Berkshire will have ample opportunities to insure municipal debt in Massachusetts the state planning a $1.62 billion general obligation deal in the summer to finance capital projects during fiscal 2009, which begins July 1.

More than half of the $12 billion of municipal debt sold in Massachusetts during 2007 was insured, with $6.9 billion of the state’s total volume of debt enhanced, according to Thomson Financial.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.