Hawaii sells a record-high $1.88 billion in bonds

Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that the state has sold a record $1.88 billion in general obligation bonds.

Money from the sale will be used to fund new and existing projects.

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“This bond sale will provide ongoing funding for critical state construction projects including schools, highways, airports and harbors,” Ige said in a statement. “These investments improve services for the people of Hawaii, create jobs that strengthen our communities, and contribute to the state’s economic recovery as we look beyond the pandemic,”

Prior to the bond sale, Ige and the state’s finance team met with the three primary credit rating agencies — Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. As a result of the presentation, Moody’s affirmed the state’s Aa2 rating and revised the outlook for the state of to positive, which reflects “a significant turnaround in the state’s economic and financial position,” according to Moody’s report.

S&P affirmed the AA+ rating and revised the outlook to stable, saying that “the outlook revision reflects our view that despite the country’s strictest pandemic response measures and continued controlled reopening of its economy, Hawaii’s economic momentum has shifted sufficiently upward to provide a more manageable operating environment.”

Fitch also affirmed its AA rating with a stable outlook for the state.

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The state’s extensive marketing efforts included live investor presentations held via video conference.

Additionally, the advance refunding that refinances part of the state’s existing debt will generate $76.8 million in present value savings.

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