NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the effective date of June 30, 2014, Fitch Ratings will upgrade the long-term rating assigned to the $100,000,000 City of New York general obligation bonds, fiscal 2012 series A, subseries A-4 (adjustable rate bonds) to 'AAA' from 'AA' and confirm the 'F1' short-term rating. The Rating Outlook is Stable for the long-term rating. The rating action is in connection with the substitution of the irrevocable standby letter of credit (LOC) currently provided by KBC Bank (rated 'A-/F1', Stable Outlook) with a substitute LOC to be issued by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU, rated 'A/F1', Stable Outlook).
KEY RATING DRIVERS:
The long-term rating will be determined using Fitch's dual-party pay criteria and will be based jointly on the underlying rating assigned to those bonds by Fitch (currently rated 'AA', Stable Outlook), and the rating assigned by Fitch to BTMU, which will provide the substitute LOC as support for the bonds. The short-term 'F1' rating will be based solely on the substitute LOC.
For information about the underlying credit rating see the new issue report dated June 11, 2014 for the New York City , New York $850MM General Obligation Bonds, 2014 available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Fitch's dual-party pay criteria consider the likelihood of the failure of both a rated obligor and a bank LOC provider. The methodology results in a long-term rating that is up to two notches higher than the stronger of the two credits if the following conditions are met: (1) both entities have a rating of 'A' or higher; (2) the transaction is structured such that payments from both the municipal issuer and the bank are in the flow of funds and both entities would have to fail to perform before the bonds defaulted; and (3) the credit of the bank and the rated obligor have no more than a medium degree of correlation. Fitch has determined a low degree of correlation between BTMU and the obligor which results in a rating of 'AAA' for the bonds. If either the underlying bond rating or the bank rating were downgraded to 'A-' or lower, the dual-party pay criteria could no longer be applied, and the long-term rating assigned to the bonds would then be adjusted to the higher of the bank rating and the underlying bond rating.
Pursuant to the substitute LOC, the bank is obligated to make payments of purchase price for tendered bonds, including bonds that are required to be tendered upon any failure of the city to provide funds to Bank of New York Mellon, as fiscal agent, for the payment of principal and interest on the bonds on a payment date. The ratings will expire upon the earliest of: (a) June 29, 2017, the initial stated expiration date of the substitute LOC, unless such date is extended; (b) conversion to a mode other than weekly rate; (c) any prior termination of the LOC; and (d) defeasance of the bonds. The substitute LOC provides full and sufficient coverage of principal plus an amount equal to 35 days of interest at a maximum rate of 9% based on a year of 365 days and purchase price for tendered bonds, while in the weekly rate mode. Barclays Capital is the remarketing agent for the bonds.
As described above, the long-term rating is tied to the long-term rating assigned to the bond obligor and the long-term rating that Fitch maintains on the bank providing the substitute LOC. Changes to one or both of these ratings may affect the long-term rating assigned to the bonds.
The short-term rating is exclusively tied to the short-term rating that Fitch maintains on the bank providing the substitute LOC and will reflect all changes to that rating.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'U.S. Municipal Structured Finance Criteria', Feb. 24, 2014;
--'Rating Guidelines for Letter of Credit-Supported Bonds and Commercial Paper', June 2, 2014;
--'Dual-Party Pay Criteria for Long-Term Ratings on LOC-Supported U.S. Public Finance Bonds', March 8, 2013.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
U.S. Municipal Structured Finance Criteria
Rating Guidelines for Letter of Credit-Supported Bonds and Commercial Paper
Dual-Party Pay Criteria for Long-Term Ratings on LOC-Supported U.S. Public Finance Bonds