Mississippi Treasurer Tate Reeves announced last week that the state closed on its Series 2009A, B, and C refunding bonds, saving $4.6 million in debt service payments over the life of existing debt maturities.

"In these challenging financial times, Mississippi families are being forced to tighten their belts," Reeves said in a statement. "It only makes sense that state government looks for ways to tighten its belt, too."

The state priced approximately $60 million of Series A general obligation refunding bonds on March 23, followed by the pricing of $16 million of Series B taxable GO refunding bonds and $25 million of Series C port improvement refunding bonds on March 24.

The Series A refunding saved $2.75 million, or 4%, on a net present-value basis, while the Series B refunding saved $996,772, or 6.27%, and the Series C refunding saved $872,904, or 3.5%.

The bonds were rated AA by Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, and Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service. All three rating agencies gave the state's credit a stable outlook.

Mississippi has approximately $3.1 billion of outstanding GOs, much of it taxable debt issued for economic development projects. It also has $1.1 billion of authorized but unissued debt, according to Standard & Poor's.

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