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City Sells General Obligation Bonds At Historically Low Interest Rates
City sells General Obligation Bonds at historically low interest rates
The sale will generate millions of dollars in savings
HONOLULU -- On July 21, 2021, the City and County of Honolulu successfully sold $742 million of General Obligation Bonds to the public. The bond proceeds will be used to finance various City projects, equipment purchases, improvements to the H-Power waste-to-energy facility, and construction of a portion of the rail transit project.
The average interest rate on the City's new money Series 2021A bonds was only 2.07%, the City's lowest borrowing costs in recent history for a 25-year financing. In addition, the City will realize $15.8 million of debt service savings through the refunding.
"This bond sale is a tremendous success for the people of our City as it will save millions of dollars for years to come," said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. "The sale highlights the confidence investors have in our City's financial strength and management, even during a pandemic. I would like to thank Director Andy Kawano who led our team in the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, and BofA Securities for its excellent work, as well as all of the departments within the City who managed through unprecedented challenges."
Fitch Ratings affirmed the City's General Obligation Bond rating at "AA+." In their credit report Fitch cited the City's "solid revenue framework, which is dominated by stable property taxes, low long-term liabilities and robust operating performance."
Moody's Investor Services also affirmed the City's General Obligation bond rating at "Aa1." In their report Moody's cited the City's "Solid history of prudent fiscal management, strong economic conditions that include a healthy and growing tourism industry, extremely low unemployment levels, and an expanding tax base and commitment to and progress toward reducing pension and OPEB liabilities" as the primary reasons for maintaining the Aa1 rating.
The City received over $390 million in orders during a one-day retail only order period on July 20th, including a number of orders from Hawaii based investors. The offering also was well received by institutional investors who submitted an additional $1.7 billion of orders for the bonds. Strong demand resulted from the City's comprehensive investor outreach effort, which included a retail advertising campaign in Hawaii as well as an online investor presentation for institutional investors.
BofA Securities served as the lead underwriter for the offering with Piper Sandler & Co. and Stifel as the co-managers.
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