DBRS confirms City’s credit rating|
WINNIPEG - JANUARY 31, 2003 - The Dominion Bond Rating Service, a Toronto-based, full-service credit rating agency, has confirmed the City of Winnipeg’s credit rating at AA (low) with a stable outlook.
In its release, DBRS said, “The city is expected to record another good fiscal performance in 2002 helped by growth in the taxable assessment base.” DBRS also looked favourably upon the reduction in the city’s tax-supported debt and viewed positively the sale of Winnipeg Hydro because of the consistent revenue stream provided through the terms of the purchase agreement.
DBRS is the third credit rating agency to provide a report on the city’s financial status in the past year. In August, Moody’s Investors Service reconfirmed the city’s rating at Aa3. On January 14, 2003 Standard and Poor’s upgraded the city’s rating to AA from AA-.
“This confirmation of our strong credit rating by DBRS along with the recent upgrade from Standard and Poor’s demonstrates strong third-party confidence in this Council’s fiscal discipline,” said Mayor Glen Murray.
Councillor Bill Clement, Chairperson of the City’s Standing Committee on Fiscal Issues, said that, “Despite operating under very tight financial constraints, we are still able to get strong grades on the overall financial management of the city. Both the sale of Winnipeg Hydro and our commitment to fiscal prudence by avoiding new tax-supported borrowing have improved our financial position considerably.”
Citing future challenges, DBRS cautioned that the City must still contend with a relatively heavy debt burden, and is faced with the task of finding alternative revenue sources to replace those lost through recent tax cuts. Other issues include the capital costs associated with infrastructure renewal as well as Winnipeg’s slow population growth.
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