BRADENTON, Fla. — The South Carolina State Infrastructure Bank picked up $67 million in savings from competitively refunding $425 million of revenue bonds Wednesday.
The 15.76% savings of refunded par was taken over the life of the bonds without extension of maturity.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the bid with a true interest cost of 2.95%.
It was the bank’s lowest interest rate since 2010, according to Thomson Reuters.
“For the second time this year, our office was able to take advantage of historically low market rates for the benefit of the entire state,” said state Treasurer Curtis Loftis. “Maintaining and expanding our road system is a key factor in South Carolina’s economic development. Instead of sending $67 million dollars out of state in interest, that money can be used for future road projects.”
The SIB sold $270.6 million of refunding bonds in April. Citi won that deal with a TIC of 3.92%.
The bank has about $2.5 billion of outstanding bonds rated A by Fitch Ratings and A1 by Moody’s Investors Service.
Some $360 million or 18% of the debt portfolio is in variable-rate form that is hedged by swap agreements with Bank of America NA and Wells Fargo Bank NA, according to Moody’s.
In addition to ongoing projects, the SIB’s board has approved about $4.2 billion in transportation projects. Some $2.78 billion of the projects are complete and $1.2 billion is underway, Fitch said.
In conjunction with the refinancing in April, Moody’s and Fitch reaffirmed South Carolina’s triple-A rating, while Standard and Poor‘s maintained an AA-plus rating.
Refinancings over the last 10 years have saved $177 million, according to SIB board chairman Don Leonard.
“These savings have helped us provide financial assistance to 19 cities and counties for major transportation projects across our state,” Leonard said. “Other states tell us our method of highway financing is considered a national model.”
The South Carolina General Assembly created the State Infrastructure Bank in 1997 to select and finance major transportation projects by providing loans and other financial assistance to governmental units, including the state Department of Transportation and private entities.
In addition to payments from loans, the SIB receives funds from a variety of sources such as a portion of the state’s gas tax, revenues from truck registration and licensing, appropriations from the General Assembly, and motor vehicle registration and licensing fees and penalties to pay debt service.
Closing on Wednesday’s offering is scheduled for Nov. 8.
The 20-year bonds sold with yields ranging from 0.4% with a 5% coupon in 2013, to 2.43% with a 5% coupon in 2023, and 3.62% with a 3.62% coupon in 2033.
Public Financial Management Inc. is the bank’s financial advisor.
Bond counsel is McNair Law Firm PA. Disclosure counsel is Howell Linkous & Nettles LLC.