Fitch rates Vermont Muni Bond Bank’s $9.5 million Gen Res program bonds ‘AA’; outlook stable

first_imgFitch Ratings assigns an ‘AA’ rating to the following 2011 Vermont Municipal Bond Bank bonds, issued under the 1988 General Resolution:–$9,500,000 (federally taxable qualified school construction bonds) 2011 series 1.The bonds are expected to sell via negotiation on March 9, 2011. Bond proceeds will be loaned to two local school districts for capital improvements.In addition, Fitch affirms $516,930,000 in outstanding general resolution bonds at ‘AA’.The Rating Outlook is Stable.RATING RATIONALE:–The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 17.22% 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 more than 260 borrowers, is diverse with low single-borrower concentration.–The program’s loan security is strong, with approximately 97% of all loans backed by a general obligation pledge and additional protection from borrower defaults through a state-aid intercept mechanism.KEY RATING DRIVERS:–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 is important to maintain the rating.–Credit quality of the bonds is also 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 more than 260 borrowers from cities, towns, counties, school districts and other local governments throughout the state. Approximately 97% of all loans are backed by a general obligation pledge; the remaining are backed by utility pledges from five borrowers. About 52% 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 32% 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. The program’s pledged reserves and loan repayments, excluding the federal subsidies, allow the bonds to withstand borrower defaults of up to 17.2% 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 (17.09%).With the 2011 -1 issue, VMBB offers its fourth series of federally subsidized bonds, Qualified School Construction and Recovery Zone Economic Development, which provide 0% and 45% in interest rate subsidies, respectively, offsetting the pool participants’ cost of borrowing. However, as the pool continues to leverage these issues, the program’s cash flow margins become tighter under Fitch’s stressed scenarios, which assume 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. Nevertheless, 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 is important to maintain the rating.The program’s 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 $49.9 million, or 9.7% of bonds outstanding. In addition, the bank 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:Revenue-Supported Rating Criteriahttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=5…(link is external)State Revolving Fund and Municipal Loan Pool Rating Guidelineshttp://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=3…(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)  CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–last_img read more

Noosa beach house sells for a record $11.2m in secret deal

first_imgThis house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. .The sale price has come as a shock given the property, named ‘Noo-Jee’, at 5 Allambi Rise in exclusive Little Cove last sold for $5.75 million only three years ago, showing the appetite from interstate migrants for premium real estate in Queensland.The agents involved are refusing to comment on the sale, but it is understood the property was owned by a local Noosa resident with other property interests in the area. PAT RAFTER SELLS SUNSHINE BEACH HOME This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. The view from the deck at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. The master bedroom in the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads.The Noosa region prestige property market is on fire, with the $18 million sale earlier this year of a beachfront mansion in Sunshine Beach smashing the residential record for the entire Sunshine Coast region. BEACH HOUSE SELLS FOR RECORD This property at 21-23 Webb Rd, Sunshine Beach, sold for a record $18m. Picture: Paul Smith.The Webb Road absolute beachfront estate is only streets away from where tennis great Pat Rafter sold his beachfront home, with the sale price recently revealed as $15.2 million.House values across the Sunshine Coast region have outperformed the rest of the state; rising 8 per cent over the year to March, while unit values rose 5.5 per cent, according to a new report from property researcher CoreLogic. The view from the master bedroom at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. The view from the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, which has sold for $11.2m.ONE of Queensland’s most idyllic celebrity holiday haunts is abuzz with news of a record property sale in ritzy Noosa Heads.A 1950s style beach house with views to die for has sold for an eyewatering $11.2 million in an offmarket deal to a cashed-up Melbourne-based buyer. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.“If you want to be close to Hastings Street and the beach, there’s only a handful of properties to choose from.“The end game is that records will continue to be broken in Noosa because some of the best property hasn’t been released yet.” The open plan living and dining area at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads. This house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m. Inside the house at 5 Allambi Rise, Noosa Heads, has sold for $11.2m.Mr Reed recently sold a beachfront home at 312 Teewah Beach Rd, Noosa North Shore, for $10.75 million.The Allambi Rise home spans two levels, featuring four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wet-edge pool and a large timber deck with built-in barbecue that overlooks Laguna Bay and beyond. The former home of Pat Rafter at 46 Seaview Tce, Sunshine Beach, recently sold for $15.2m.Prestige agent Adrian Reed of Dowling & Neylan Real Estate in Noosa Heads said he wasn’t too surprised by the price achieved for the Little Cove home because of the demand for property in the area from southern states and expats.“We’re not shocked because we honestly believe there’s more scope to test the limits (of the market),” Mr Reed said.last_img read more

Badgers fall behind early; drop 5th straight game

first_imgMEGAN CONLIN/Herald PhotoThe Badger women’s basketball team continued its struggles as it lost a close contest, 68-59, to the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Kohl Center Thursday night.The Badgers have now lost 12 of their last 14 after beginning the year 4-0. Wisconsin had its chances in this game that saw Iowa push the lead to 11 early in the second half, only to have the Badgers battle their way back into it.After a Jolene Anderson jumper cut the lead to four with 3:22 left in the game, the Badgers had four consecutive trips down the floor end unsuccessfully. Iowa then hit a couple of free throws, and Wisconsin never got closer than six.The Badgers were unable to take advantage of the Hawkeyes’ lackluster offensive performance in the second half, where Iowa made more points off of free throws than from the field.”I give credit to Wisconsin because we were very stagnant with our offense tonight. That was probably the worst that our offense has really executed during the course of this year,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We didn’t have movement, we weren’t making good passes — it’s evident. Nine assists. For us, that’s very low in the assist column. Our offense relies on good passing and they took a lot of that away from us tonight.”As much as Iowa was able to take advantage of the free-throw line, it proved to be the Badgers’ downfall. Wisconsin was only able to convert 4-of-14 attempts on the night, including just 2-of-11 in the second half.Jolene Anderson led the Badgers with 20 points but could not connect on a couple of late free throws.”You just have to think that your legs aren’t tired and you can’t let it bother you. It goes along with the mental thing that coach Stone says, you know, just go out there and play,” Anderson said.Wisconsin was able to hold Crystal Smith, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, in check for most of the game. She was held to just 3-of-7 shooting on the night and did not even attempt a shot from the field in the second half. But the senior was able to knock in all eight of her shots from the charity stripe.Iowa was led by 6-foot-6 freshman Megan Skouby, who had 23 points and six rebounds. The Badgers switched up their defense early on to a zone to try to limit the touches of the taller Skouby, after she had eight points in just more than five minutes.The UW starting forwards — senior Kjersten Bakke and freshman Caitlin Gibson — did not seem to have an answer for Iowa’s frontcourt, as they were outscored by the duo of Skouby and forward Tiffany Reedy 48-9. Reedy’s 15 was a season high for the senior.”I am not usually a penetrator, and tonight that is pretty much all I did,” Reedy said. “I just stayed focus and I knew this game was important, so my mindset was just doing whatever it took to win.”The first half saw the Badgers outplay the Hawkeyes in nearly every way but turnovers.”The story of the game was points off turnovers in the first half,” said UW head coach Lisa Stone. “We had 14 turnovers in the first half. It looked as if we had not seen the press, but that’s all we’ve worked on the last three years I’ve been here. We certainly need to improve in those areas.”Wisconsin gets a short break from conference action as it looks to rebound against Eastern Illinois on Monday. The Badgers hope to rebuild their spirits as they prepare for the stretch run in the Big Ten.”Mentally, it’s tough. You gain confidence from working hard and getting success,” Bakke said. “There has never been a lack of focus at the ultimate goal, and I think we stick to the game plan.”We’ve all been in hard times. Everyone experiences it through their life, and we will step out on the floor tomorrow just as ready to work as the day before.”last_img read more