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Maui County receives high bond ratings

The Maui News

Fitch Global Ratings, Moody’s Investor Service and S&P Global Ratings have assigned ratings of AA+ (stable outlook), Aa1 (stable outlook), and AA+ (stable outlook), respectively to Maui County’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2022, Mayor Michael Victorino announced Tuesday.

According to S&P, Maui County’s ratings reflect high confidence in “well-embedded financial management policies and practices … supportive of very strong credit quality.” Moody’s credited its high rating to “the county’s stable profile anchored by conservative budgeting assumptions that will keep reserves and liquidity levels sufficient for the rating level,” according to a news release.

Maui County plans to issue approximately $60.56 million series 2022 bonds to finance capital improvement projects.

“Moody’s recognized the overall strength of Maui’s credit worthiness,” said Director of Finance Scott Teruya. “I believe if we continue to over-fund our Other Post-Employment Benefits and increase our emergency fund reserves, there is real potential for a future upgrade to the highest AAA rating.”

In its credit overview, S&P also recognized the rebound in Maui County’s hospitality sector, but also highlighted diversification in the county’s economic base, the news release said. They identified employment growth in agriculture, film, television and video projects as key complements to the leisure and hospitality sector.

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