Hawaii’s double-A bond ratings received two affirmations this week as the island state prepares to sell at least $400 million of bonds.
Moody’s Investors Service affirmed its Aa2 rating on Hawaii GOs Monday and Standard & Poor’s affirmed its AA rating Wednesday. Both assign a stable outlook.
“The rating is based on the state’s growing and diversifying economy, which continues to rely on tourism and land development, and its sustained — though likely mature — expansionary phase, which mitigates average wealth and income indicators,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Rob Williams said in a statement. “Strong recent revenue trends have led to significantly improved financial performance and reserves.”
Hawaii’s strengths are tempered by the state’s high debt burden and the low-funded status of its retirement system, the agency said.
Citi was chosen to lead the $400 million new-money bond sale, according to the state’s procurement Web site. Officials are also planning a $27 million refunding series, according to Moody’s.
Fitch Ratings assigned Hawaii its AA rating before the state’s last GO issue in 2007.