Fitch and Moody’s Upgrade and Affirm FMPA Ratings, Assign A+/A1 to New Bonds
ORLANDO, Fla., May 15, 2003 – Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service on May 13 upgraded and affirmed various credit ratings for Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) in preparation for $236 million in debt sales beginning next week.
Fitch upgraded the Stanton, Tri-City and Stanton II projects’ outstanding debt to underlying ratings of A+ from A. Moody’s upgraded the projects’ underlying ratings to A1 from A2. The revenue bonds for each of these projects are insured, which raises the credit ratings to triple-A.
Roger Fontes, FMPA’s General Manager and CEO, said, “We are very pleased with these rating upgrades, which we think reflect the excellent performance of our power supply projects and the FMPA Board of Directors’ commitment to continually enhancing our competitiveness.”
The ratings of FMPA’s All-Requirements Project and St. Lucie Project were also affirmed. The All-Requirements Project’s outstanding debt has underlying ratings of A+ from Fitch and A1 from Moody’s. The St. Lucie Project’s outstanding debt has underlying ratings of A- from Fitch and A3 from Moody’s.
FMPA plans on May 21 to sell $65 million of refunding revenue bonds for the All-Requirements Project, $41.5 million of refunding revenue bonds for its Tri-City Project, and $20 million of refunding revenue bonds for its Stanton II Project. FMPA plans on July 9 to sell $90 million auction-rate bonds for All-Requirements and $20 million auction-rate bonds for its Stanton Project. All these bonds were assigned underlying ratings of A+ from Fitch and A1 from Moody’s. All of the issues will be insured, raising the credit ratings to triple-A.
“Ratings for all of Florida Municipal Power Agency’s projects reflect the following credit characteristics: historically stable financial performance, court-validated power supply contracts, Florida’s very slow transition to deregulation, and a solid management team,” according to a Fitch Ratings report.
Beyond fundamental credit qualities, Moody’s noted FMPA’s risk management efforts. “FMPA management has focused significant attention on the development of a broader approach to risk management to include fuel risk, risks to liquidity, extended outage risk, counterparty risks, and other areas,” according to Moody’s.