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February 15. 2012 11:41PM

Refinancing seen as money saver for state's turnpike system

MANCHESTER — New Hampshire Turnpike System stands to save between $700,000 and $750,000 a year for a dozen years through bond refinancing, state Treasurer Catherine A. Provencher said Wednesday.

That’s a total savings of more than $8 million.

“It is unbelievably favorable right now for the state and the turnpike system to issue debt,” Provencher said.

The state closed Jan. 5 on $42.1 million in bonds sold last summer and plans to sell another $65.9 million next week. Those bonds won’t close until November.

Provencher expects to interest rates to be less than 3 percent on the bonds to be sold next week based on their single A credit rating.

This week the $66 million 2012 Series B delayed delivery bonds were rated as follows:

Moody’s: Provisional A1 rating, outlook positive.

Fitch: A rating, outlook stable.

Standard & Poor’s: A+ rating, outlook stable.

The agencies also affirmed their ratings on $346 million of outstanding turnpike revenue bonds.

“It’s kind of like locking your rate,” Provencher said. “The rates are so unbelievably favorable right now that I would rather know what my savings are today than take the chance that the savings might not be there in November,” she said.

The new bonds will replace outstanding 2002 refunding bonds with maturity dates from Oct. 1, 2013, through April 1, 2020.

The bonds, which are exempt from federal taxes, will be repaid from Turnpike System revenues and are not general obligations of the state.

Wells Fargo Securities is the senior underwriter, with Citi and Barclay’s as co-managers.


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