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STANDARD & POOR'S RAISES RATING OF $22 MILLION IN MORTGAGE REVENUE BONDS FROM A TO AA

Standard & Poor's Corp. has upgraded the rating on $22 million of mortgage revenue bonds issued by the Utah Housing Finance Agency from A to AA, according to William H. Erickson, agency executive director.

The improved rating reflects S & P's recognition of the additional enhancement that the agency brings to its rated debt through strong management, proactive portfolio management and strong financial resources."We are delighted to see Standard & Poor's modifying their rating criteria to more realistically recognize the overall strength of the UHFA security. It has been our feeling all along that these bonds were AA quality," Erickson said.

Factors contributing to the rating increase of the bonds included the types of bond and home mortgage programs developed by the agency, the extent and duration of the agency programs, the purpose of the bond investment, credit support, the agency's strong performance and cash flow of its bond issues and its sovereign, overall rating as a bond issuer.

The mortgage revenue bonds issued by the agency are sold to private investors nationally. The proceeds received from the bond issuances are used to assist low and moderate-income Utahns to purchase their first home by offering interest rates well below those charged through conventional mortgage loans.