Agencies lower state’s credit rating, outlook

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Mississippi’s credit rating on $4 billion in outstanding debt, and Moody’s Investor Services has lowered the state’s credit outlook to negative, moves that could cost taxpayers when the state refinances debt or borrows if not addressed.

Fitch downgraded Mississippi’s rating on $4 billion in outstanding general obligation bonds from AA+ to AA, and lowered the state’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating from AA+ to AA. It also lowered the rating to AA- on more than $200 million in bonds issued by the Mississippi Development Bank for MDOC projects that were set for sale last month.

Moody’s, after issuing a warning in July, lowered the state’s credit outlook to “negative,” but left its general obligation bond rating at Aa2.

Clarion Ledger
8/12/16