Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

first_imgSource: Fitch Ratings CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 11.17.2010 Fitch Ratings assigns an ‘AA’ rating to the following 2010 Vermont Municipal Bond Bank bonds, issued under the 1988 General Resolution:–$24,280,000 (federally taxable recovery zone economic development bonds) series 5.The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation during the week of Nov. 15, 2010.In addition, Fitch downgrades $536,855,000 in outstanding general resolution bonds to ‘AA’ from ‘AAA’.The Rating Outlook is Stable.RATING RATIONALE:–The rating downgrade is due to the program cash flows failure to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test.–The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.–The program, which consists of 298 borrowers, is diverse with low single-borrower concentration.–The program’s loan security is strong, with approximately 98% of all loans backed by a general obligation pledge and additional protection from borrower defaults through a state-aid intercept mechanism.KEY RATING DRIVERS:–Fitch will continue to evaluate the bond bank’s ability to balance future leveraging with program resources to maintain borrower default tolerance levels that pass Fitch’s ‘AA’ stress test scenarios.–Credit quality of the bonds is linked to repayment performance on the program’s loan portfolio.SECURITY:Program bonds are secured by borrower loan repayments and debt service reserve funds. A state moral obligation on the reserve fund and a state-aid intercept provision for borrowers provide additional credit enhancement.CREDIT SUMMARY:Established in 1970, The Vermont Municipal Bond Bank (VMBB) is a quasi-state agency. It is administered by a five-member board consisting of four gubernatorial appointees and the state treasurer. The bond bank issues bonds and uses the proceeds to make loans to local government borrowers throughout the state. Virtually all of Vermont’s eligible municipalities use the bond bank as their primary borrowing vehicle because it offers local government borrowers the lowest cost of capital.The loan pool consists of 298 borrowers from cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments throughout the state. Approximately 98% of all loans are backed by a general obligation pledge; the remaining are backed by utility pledges from four borrowers. About 51% of the loans are to school districts, which are further backed by an intercept mechanism that includes any state funds payable to borrowers. State aid is reportedly over 90% of school district debt service. The loan portfolio’s largest borrower, Springfield School District, comprises only 5% of the portfolio. The top 10 borrowers account for 33% of the total outstanding loan balance.Fitch analyzed the default tolerance of the VMBB loan pool using a stress test it also applies to state revolving funds and other municipal loan pools. The stress test considers loan quality, single risk concentration, reserve fund size, and debt service requirements. Due to the already tight margins on the program’s stressed cash flows, with the issuance of the 2010 series 5 bonds, the program cash flows fail to pass Fitch’s ‘AAA’ stress test by $4.4 million and $2 million in 2014 and 2027, respectively; this scenario assumes that no scheduled federal debt service subsidies are received. Per its report ‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerations’ dated April 27, 2010, Fitch assesses the ability of the issuer to pay full interest on the BABs, regardless of the subsidy. While Fitch believes there could be offsets to some annual subsidy payments, it believes that VMBB management would take action to address the reasons for the offset and avoid multiple years with no subsidy, including the use of certain optional redemption provisions for its federally subsidized bonds. Even if the federal subsidies were considered in Fitch’s analysis, the stressed cash flows would still miss Fitch’s ‘AAA’ test by $1.3 million in 2014. Nevertheless, the program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding the federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 20.3% for four years without causing an interruption in bond payments. This is consistent with Fitch’s criteria for assigning an ‘AA’ rating given the loan pool’s borrowers’ credit quality, size and diversification.The debt service reserve fund, which is sized at the least of maximum annual debt service, 125% average annual debt service, or 10% of bond proceeds, is funded with bond proceeds and invested in U.S. treasury and agency securities. Pledged reserves currently total $51.3 million, or 9.5% of bonds outstanding. In addition, the bank currently maintains approximately $10.9 million in unrestricted general fund reserves, which are not pledged to bondholders but may be used if a deficiency occurs. The bonds are also supported by a state moral obligation to replenish the debt service reserve fund if it falls below its minimum specified level. Neither the intercept nor the moral obligation has ever been utilized, because no borrower has defaulted on a loan repayment since the bond bank began operations in 1970.Loan payments are due 15 days before the bond payment dates. Under Vermont’s state intercept provision, if a borrower fails to make its scheduled loan repayment, the bond bank will certify the failure of that payment with the state treasurer. The state treasurer would then pay the defaulted loan amount to the bank’s trustee from amounts appropriated and payable by the state to the defaulted borrower, if available. If sufficient state aid is unavailable, it will be paid from subsequent interceptable state aid payments, with bond bank reserves covering the temporary shortfall. To date, this mechanism has not been tested as there have not been any loan defaults in the history of the program.Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:–‘Revenue-Supported Rating Criteria’ (Oct. 8, 2010);–‘State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelines’ (April 28, 2008);–‘Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market – Credit Considerations’ (April 27, 2010).For information on Build America Bonds, visit www.fitchratings.com/BABs(link is external).Applicable Criteria and Related Research:State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelineshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=3…(link is external)Revenue-Supported Rating Criteriahttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)Build America Bonds Broaden Municipal Market — Credit Considerationshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. last_img read more

Read more on Fitch downgrades $537 million Vermont Municipal Bond Bank general resolution bonds to ‘AA’

Bennett wins third of season at Boone

first_imgBOONE, Iowa (May 21) – It was a night of first wins as well as repeats at Boone Speedway on a beautiful Saturday night for racing.Kyle Brown found his way to victory lane for the first time locally in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Mod­ified division. Brandon Williams in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division and Donavon Smith in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars both scored their second wins of the year.  Solomon Bennett snagged win number three in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.Bennett made his way around Seth Janssen at lap five of the 12-lap Hobby Stock feature and pulled away for a comfortable win. Janssen held on to the runner-up spot, ahead of Dave Rieks in third.  Aaron Rudolph held back Chad LeGere as they went fourth and fifth.Matt West and Michael Murphy battled for the lead for much of the Stock Car race with Smith throw­ing his hat into the ring late in the race.  Smith, who had started 11th on the field, was able to make the pass into the lead on the final lap, and get to the checkers first for the win.  Murphy took the runner-up spot, followed by West in third. Trent Murphy moved from tenth starting to take fourth and Rod Richards was fifth.Williams also returned to victory lane, in the Northern SportMods. Williams battled with leader Chad Ryerson from just past the halfway mark of the 18-lap event and finally made it into the lead with two laps remaining. He held that lead the rest of the way to the checkers.  Randy Roberts got by Ryerson in the final laps as they finished second and third, respectively.  Fourth place finisher was Johnathon Logue and Daniel Tasler rounded out the top five.Brown put his no. 21K machine to the front at the drop of the green and led all 20 laps on the way to the Modified win.  Brown couldn’t shake Joel Bushore as he hung close the entire race but had to settle for the runner-up spot. Last week’s winner and track point leader Mike Van Genderen, got around Scott Davis in the closing laps as they finished third and fourth, respectively.  Eric El­liott completed the top five.last_img read more

Read more on Bennett wins third of season at Boone

Martinez defends McManaman

first_imgWigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Callum McManaman has been unfairly criticised for his challenge on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara. Referee Mark Halsey missed the knee-high tackle during Wigan’s 2-1 victory at the DW Stadium a fortnight ago and McManaman was not punished retrospectively because one of the officials had seen the incident. Martinez said: “I think we’ve been going on and on too much about it. I think it was a football incident. We lost Ryo Miyaichi a couple of weeks back and he had to go through surgery and he’s out for the season. Those are incidents that happen in the game.” Press Associationcenter_img McManaman, 21, was confronted by an angry Newcastle assistant boss John Carver at half-time and figures within football have queued up to condemn the tackle. It was initially feared Haidara had suffered a serious injury but Newcastle have since confirmed he sustained only bad bruising and soft tissue damage, although no date has yet been set for his return. Martinez added: “I think we’re taking things out of context here. I think the whole incident has been a bit of an argument about the refereeing in the game. It was a challenge with no real intent. It was an unfortunate incident that happens on a football pitch. “I think we’ve been talking too much about it and it’s a bit unfair on a young man to have to suffer that.” There has been no official apology from Wigan but the two medical departments were in touch until it became clear Haidara was not seriously hurt, while McManaman also contacted the Newcastle player. The striker has started Wigan’s last two games, scoring in the FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton, but may miss Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich because of an ankle problem. Wigan boss Martinez added: “I did have concerns straight away. Anyone would. He’s had a very good development at the club. He’s been out on loan and I think he’s had enough experiences to know how to cope with anything the Premier League is going to throw at him.” last_img read more

Read more on Martinez defends McManaman

Florida Man Accused of Setting Person on Fire in Money Dispute

first_imgSheriff’s officials near Jacksonville say they have arrested a man who is accused of setting another person on fire during a money dispute.St. Johns County Sheriff’s officials arrested 35-year-old Brian Terrance Connor on charges of attempted first-degree murder, arson and burglary, for the Saturday night incident.Investigators explain that Connor entered an apartment and started an argument before dousing the victim with a flammable liquid.Photo courtesy: St. Johns County Sheriff’s OfficeThe person was able to run to another apartment in the complex while still on fire, and people there helped extinguish the flames, the Sheriff’s Office said.The victim remains in critical condition after being flown to the UF Health burn unit in Gainesville, the Sheriff’s Office said. They did not release the individual’s name, age or gender.Connor remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.last_img read more

Read more on Florida Man Accused of Setting Person on Fire in Money Dispute

Historic game for Gordon, Badgers ends in UW rout of Bowling Green

first_imgMelvin Gordon showed displeasure this past week towards his performance through two games this season for the Wisconsin football team.He is probably feeling much better after Saturday’s game.The redshirt junior’s historic day ended with 253 yards on 13 carries and five touchdowns as the Badgers (2-1) set an abundance of offensive records in a 68-17 rout of the Bowling Green Falcons (2-2) on Saturday Camp Randall Stadium.Tanner McEvoy started the scoring barrage for UW with a 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that would be only a precursor to what the Badgers’ rushing attack would do the rest of the game.However, it would take a quarter for the Badgers to really get going offensively. After Gordon lost a fumble for the first time in his career at the 11:41 mark of the first quarter, Bowling Green’s Fred Coppet rattled off a 35-yard touchdown run that tied the game at seven. The Badgers then responded on their very next drive with an 11-play, 70 yard drive that ended in Gordon’s first touchdown of the game that came on a two-yard run.Following a Bowling Green field goal that made it 14-10, the Badgers took just one offensive play to pull ahead 21-10 thanks to a 57-yard punt return from Kenzel Doe that set up a 34-yard touchdown pass from McEvoy to Sam Arneson.But the Falcons kept fighting and were only eight yards away from dropping the Badgers lead down to four at 21-17. Then third and goal, Wisconsin’s Lubern Figaro intercepted a pass from Bowling Green’s James Knapke that was tipped by Derek Landisch, and returned it 43 yards to the Wisconsin 43-yard line, ending the Bowling Green threat.Once the Badgers got the ball back after Figaro’s interception, the next four scoring drives for UW would end in Melvin Gordon touchdowns and Wisconsin would go on to score the next 44 points to blow open their lead.Three plays after the Figaro interception, Gordon scampered for fifty yards and added his second touchdown of the day that gave the Badgers a 27-10 lead with 11:18 remaining in the second quarter. The 50-yard run by Gordon put him over the 100-yard mark just 18 minutes and 42 seconds into the game.Wisconsin added to their total by scoring on their next drive, going 57 yards on 11 plays that once again ended with a Gordon touchdown run. This one was from three yards out and put Wisconsin in the driver’s seat at 34-10 with just over five minutes left until halftime. One final 21-yard rushing touchdown from Gordon, who showed off his elusiveness on the run, in the second quarter gave the Badgers a commanding 41-10 lead as they went into halftime.Gordon finished the first half with 179 yards on only eleven carries with four touchdowns. McEvoy did his own damage on the ground through the first two quarters, running for 90 yards on nine attempts.Coming out of the break, Gordon again wasted no time scoring his final touchdown of the game, which came on a 69-yard run on just the second play from scrimmage in the second half.The touchdown capped off Gordon’s career-day in his time at Wisconsin and gave him a total of 253 yards, which is a career-high, on only 13 carries to average 19.5 yards per rush.For Gordon, he was happy to be back on the field after a tough performance against Western Illinois and put to rest some of the doubt that had been flying around the potential Heisman-candidate.“I was really motivated,” Gordon said. “I had heard a lot of people saying ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that, Melvin’s not this, Melvin’s not that, Melvin shouldn’t be considered with this guy, or be talked about with this guy’…That definitely motivated me to get out there and do what I needed to do.”Despite the criticism that Gordon had gone through during the first few weeks of the season, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen was pleased to see Gordon persevere through it and have the performance that he did on Saturday.“The unselfishness of Melvin Gordon for the last three of weeks as we’ve gone through the first part of the season has been incredible,” Andersen said. “I’m so proud of the way he’s handled it. Today was his day. It was great to see him have the success.”Although it wasn’t just Gordon who found success on the ground for the Badgers as both McEvoy and Corey Clement also eclipsed the 100-yard mark.McEvoy finished the day with eleven carries and a career-high 158 yards to go along with two touchdowns, but struggled through the air, going 9-for-16 for 112 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Clement, who scored on back-to-back possessions after Gordon’s final touchdown, ended the day with 111 yards on 16 carries. Even Dare Ogunbowale, who just made the switch from defense to running back this week, had 94 yards which all came in the fourth quarter.The Badgers ended the day with a school-record 644 yards on the ground, which is the most rushing yards in modern-era Big Ten history. The 644-yard total broke the previous record of 573 which happened in both 1971 and 1975 by Michigan State and Michigan respectively. Added to the new school rushing record was a school-record for total offense (756) which broke the previous high of 705 that came against Indiana in 1999.With an all-around strong performance from the rushing attack, after struggling against Western Illinois two weeks ago, Clement saw Saturday’s performance as a great boost of confidence for the running backs and especially Gordon.“It think we all needed a confidence boost like that, coming off of the last game,” Clement said. “We didn’t really produce how we should as a Badger unit, but Melvin had an outstanding game. He hit the holes at 100 miles per hour, couldn’t be caught.”Coming into Saturday’s game, the Wisconsin defense knew they would be up against one of the fastest tempo offenses in the country in Bowling Green. In a win over Indiana last week, the Falcons ran over 100 plays throughout the game. Senior linebacker Derek Landisch, who led the Badgers with six tackles, three-and-a-half tackles for loss, and two sacks, knew that the defense was prepared for the up-tempo style of Bowling Green.“I think we were very well prepared,” Landisch said. “I don’t think there was a look that we saw out there that we haven’t seen during practice. Even some of the goofy tackle, split-wide formations, we saw that in practice. So we were very well prepared and I think for the most part we executed the game plan.”As the Badgers pick up their second win of the season and head into preparations for their final non-conference game of the season next Saturday against South Florida, McEvoy saw Saturday’s game as an overall quality win for UW.“It was a great team win,” McEvoy said. “Our defense was taking the ball away from them, but we had some giveaways and turnovers, but [the defense] go it back for us. Great special teams and obviously the rushing was a key today and that helps.”last_img read more

Read more on Historic game for Gordon, Badgers ends in UW rout of Bowling Green