State Treasurer Curtis Loftis Announces SC Maintains High Credit Ratings, Despite COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Economic Impacts
January 22, 2021
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced that South Carolina continues to maintain high bond ratings with the three major credit rating agencies.
In preparation for a January bond issuance, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings reaffirmed the Palmetto State’s triple-A ratings, acknowledging the state’s continued sound financial management even in the midst of a global pandemic. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings also reaffirmed South Carolina’s AA Plus rating (AA+). South Carolina is one of 14 states rated in the top category by Moody’s. All three rating agencies assigned Stable Outlook to their ratings.
“Certainly, the last ten months have been very challenging for our state, and I am pleased that South Carolina was able to maintain our strong credit ratings,” Treasurer Loftis said. “We are fortunate that our leadership has embraced fiscally conservative financial management that has fostered continued economic growth and supported a build-up of our state’s cash reserves. We have weathered the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic better than many states, and these strong credit ratings have enabled us to borrow money less expensively in this time of historically low rates.”
As part of an annual review of the state’s existing bond portfolio, the Treasurer’s Office staff assessed the potential Net Present Value savings of each issuance, both in terms of dollar amounts and by percentage, and identified several bond series as good candidates for refunding.
“We are grateful for our financial advisor Public Resources Advisory Group (PRAG) and our state partners who participated on these rating calls to tell the positive financial news we have as a state,” Loftis added.
The bond sale on January 13 met with an excellent market reception with 11 underwriters competing to buy the state’s bonds. The issue included refunding of $137.7 million of General Obligation State Economic Development, State Air Carrier Hub Terminal Facilities and State Institution Bonds, which generated a debt service Net Present Value savings totaling $14,389,947 or 10.45% of the refunded bonds. In addition, funding of $74.4 million of projects for Clemson University, Midlands Technical College, the Citadel and the Medical University of South Carolina was provided through the issuance of General Obligation State Institution Bonds.
The State Treasurer’s Office is responsible for managing the borrowings of the State, its agencies and certain authorities through its Debt Management Division. The division works to borrow funds as efficiently and effectively as possible by securing the lowest rates and fees, while ensuring that the investment of the lenders, investors and bondholders is protected and secured.
About the State Treasurer’s Office
The State Treasurer’s Office provides transparent, accountable and efficient banking, investment and financial management services for South Carolina State Government. Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. has served as State Treasurer since 2011. In addition to managing the office, he serves as the Vice Chair of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority and Chairman of the State Board of Financial Institutions. For more information on the Treasurer’s Office, visit treasurer.sc.gov.