WAILUKU, Maui – The County of Maui plans to issue $109 million in General Obligation Bonds to be used to refund outstanding bonds and loans and reimburse the county General Fund approximately $45 million for money already spent on new projects.
The bonds will be sold by competitive bid to the underwriting firm that offers the County of Maui the lowest interest cost.
“This same approach was used in 2012, 2014 and 2015 with excellent results,” said County of Maui Finance Director Mark Walker. “Bidders in the past included firms like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and others. Competitive bidding of the bonds is a governmental best practice for highly rated General Obligation Bonds like Maui County’s. It is a very transparent process as there are no special relationships with underwriters, and they have to bid to get the business.”
As reported recently, Maui County bonds have the highest rating in the State of Hawaii from the three major bond rating agencies: Moodys (Aa1), Standard & Poors (AA+), and Fitch (AA+).
“Maui County is highly rated for a reason,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “The county’s finances are strong, the management team is conservative and the county has the right policies in place. These are exceptionally high ratings. ”
Curt de Crinis, the county’s municipal advisor for the bond issue, said there is a solid audience for the County of Maui bonds.
“Investors know Maui, and there is very strong demand for the county’s bonds,” he said. “With competitive bidding, all the underwriters have a shot at winning the bid. Even though the ratings are AA+, the interest rates bids in the past have been closer to AAA. We are hoping for a similar result this time around!”