The Port of Long Beach announced this week that Standard & Poor’s Rating Services and Fitch Ratings, two of the top three U.S. credit analysis agencies, assigned “AA” ratings to the City of Long Beach Harbor Department’s upcoming bond issuance and outstanding debt.
The POLB’s strong market position, guaranteed minimum payments by Port tenants and the Port’s robust debt service coverage warranted the AA ratings from both agencies, according to the announcement.
According to the POLB, “The rating agency reports stated that the Port’s efforts to repay debt from the ongoing capital improvement projects should remain stable due to its strong financial metrics and ‘considerable liquidity.’”
The AA ratings were assigned to $194 million in bonds to be issued this year and affirmed the AA rating to $860 million in senior lien harbor revenue bonds. Both agencies affirmed their “AA-” long-term ratings on the $325 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.
With the POLB undergoing the $4 billion capital improvement program this decade, which includes the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Program and the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, the AA ratings are good news.