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County’s improved credit ratings show economic recovery

Maui County has received an upgrade to its general obligation bonds, which have gone from a “negative” outlook in 2020 to a “stable” outlook for this year, the county announced.

The “excellent” credit ratings mean that the county and its taxpayers could save millions of dollars in interest costs when borrowing money in the bond market, according to a news release.

“Fitch’s upgrade of Maui County’s 2021 financial outlook to ‘stable’ shows the strength of our post-pandemic recovery, and it recognizes the work of our dedicated employees in the Department of Finance, Budget Office and Department of Management,” Mayor Michael Victorino said.

Fitch Global Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings assigned ratings of AA+ (stable outlook), Aa1 (stable outlook) and AA+ (stable outlook), respectively, to Maui County’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2021. Aa1/AA+ is the second-highest rating a debt issuer can receive, the county said.

All three rating agencies highlighted Maui County’s rebound of tourism, strong financial management that included building up strong reserve levels, and proactively addressing long-term liabilities.

The rating agencies’ actions also affirm the Aa1/AA+/AA+ ratings for Maui County’s $277 million outstanding general obligation bonds

The approximately $80 million series 2021 bonds are due to be sold via negotiation on Wednesday. The money will be used for Maui County capital improvement projects.

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