Massachusetts intends to sell $818 million of general obligation bonds competitively Wednesday, including a $218 million refunding.

“We’re gearing up for a few new deals,” state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said at Wednesday’s third and final investor call of the year. Goldberg last week was selected secretary-treasurer of the National Association of State Treasurers for 2018.

The commonwealth will issue $600 million in new money through equal $300 million tranches of Series E and F bonds, according to deputy treasurer for debt management Sue Perez.

The refunding portion of Series E is for bonds issued in 2011 and 2012.

S&P Global Ratings in June handed Massachusetts its first downgrade by a major bond-rating agency since 1990 when it lowered the commonwealth’s GOs to AA from AA-plus, affecting roughly $22 billion in debt. S&P cited the failure by state officials to follow through on rainy-day replenishment despite economic growth above the national average.

Massachusetts’ fiscal 2018 budget projects a $98.4 million deposit to the stabilization fund, which according to state budget secretary Michael Heffernan would raise the balance to nearly $1.4 billion.

Fitch Ratings assigns an AA-plus rating to Massachusetts GOs, while Moody’s Investors Service rates them Aa1.

Massachusetts also plans to competitively sell $142.6 million in Series 2017A federal highway grant anticipation notes on Nov. 1 and hold a negotiated sale of $500.9 million of commonwealth transportation fund revenue bonds Nov. 8.

The GAN sale will feature $75 million in new money and $67.6 million in refunding, with proceeds to fund additional costs of the Accelerated Bridge Program and refund other GANs.

The CTF issuance will involve $350 million in new money and a $150.9 million refunding. New money proceeds will fund costs under bridge and rail enhancement programs, while the refunding will cover prior CTF bonds.

Since May, Massachusetts has sold nearly $783 million of GO new money and refunding bonds competitively, remarketed $200 million of 2014 Series D2 multimodal bonds, entered into a standby bond purchase agreement for $136.9 million of 2006 Series A variable rate demand bonds, executed the replacement of a direct placement for $163.9 million of Series 2001B refunding bonds and issued $1.5 billion of revenue anticipation notes for cash-flow borrowing.

“We’ve been a little busy,” said Perez.

Massachusetts has scheduled its seventh annual investor conference for Nov. 15 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The keynote speaker is Kevin O’Leary, a star of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”

Topics throughout the day will include pensions, mass transit, the commonwealth’s long-term challenges and preparations for the long-term economy.

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.
Paul Burton

Paul Burton

Paul Burton is the Northeast Regional Editor for The Bond Buyer and the author of the book "Tales from the Newsrooms." He is a sought-after public speaker and has appeared on radio and TV shows, including former CBS News White House correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s public-affairs program, “Full Measure.”