The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York will consider revising its guidelines so that it can sell bonds for a wider range of investment-grade borrowers in a difficult market, executive director Paul Williams Jr. said yesterday.
"We can go back to basics with all parties relying more on fundamental credit analysis and less on financial technology and guarantees," he said.
Under current DASNY guidelines, borrowers have to have at least a single-A rating or insurance - though exceptions can be made. Many bond insurers have been downgraded in the past year, creating problems for issuers and making it more difficult for borrowers to get insurance.
The authority would also consider using private placements and "new ways to market our bonds and increase our reach to institutional, retail and sophisticated investors," he said.
Speaking at The Bond Buyer Metro Finance Conference in Manhattan, Williams said that DASNY had a mission to provide capital to institutions in New York, but that with the current market conditions and the lapse of the law allowing industrial development agencies to sell bonds on behalf of nonprofits, many institutions will be shut out of the tax-exempt market.
Williams said he wanted DASNY to find a middle ground between its current practices and acting more like an IDA which would approve any deal that could be sold. The problem with behaving like an IDA was that it could damage DASNY's reputation of 64 years without a default, he said.
Williams said the authority would consider a wide range of options, including an idea floated under his predecessor, David Brown 3d, that would create a separate issuer to deal with lower rated credits. DASNY will convene a think tank to look its options before the end of the year.