SAN FRANCISCO – Moody’s Investors Service withdrew ratings on $1.2 billion of debt issued by 22 former California redevelopment agencies, citing a lack of information.

Sixty-eight other issuers, which have said they will provide the needed information within 30 days, remain on review for possible downgrade or withdrawal, Moody’s said in a report Wednesday. Long Beach, Palm Desert and Inglewood are among the larger cities affected.

In March, Moody’s warned it might withdraw the ratings of the former RDAs due to insufficient information. 

Moody’s in June 2012 downgraded all California redevelopment agencies’ tax allocation bonds rated Baa3 or higher to Ba1 and placed all rated RDAs under review for possible downgrade or withdrawal.

The firm said the mass downgrade was due to the much higher risk of default due to the state shutdown of the RDAs, and the review was a result of the possible risks resulting from the new law governing the “successor” agencies that took over responsibility for the debt.

Legislation dissolved the redevelopment agencies in 2012.

In February, Moody’s extended its rating review of 93 former RDAs. Three reviews had been completed by Wednesday. 

Moody’s downgraded debt issued by Atwater, Calif.’s former redevelopment agency to Ba2 with a negative outlook, it upgraded Santa Monica’s former RDA bonds to Baa1 and confirmed Orange Cove’s TABs at Ba1.

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