The country’s three major bond rating agencies have given the city and county of San Francisco positive scores, boosting the city’s ability to continue to receive loans for city projects.
The office of Mayor Gavin Newsom announced this morning that Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings all assigned A ratings to San Francisco.
“This rating reflects San Francisco’s diverse local economy, well-educated population, and strong tourism draw,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.
The ratings were requested by the city for the upcoming sale of $38 million in certificates of participation for street improvements, according to Nadia Sesay, director of the mayor’s Office of Public Finance.
Similar reviews are requested by the city before every such transaction, she said.
Sesay described the ratings, made after a review of the city’s finances, debt, fiscal management and socioeconomic profile, as a kind of “credit score” for San Francisco.
“This is good news for the city,” Sesay said of the ratings, which she said remained the same after the last report in May.
Sesay said there had been concerns the economic downturn might affect the city’s ability to secure loans with good interest rates from banks.
Bad bond ratings increase the cost of borrowing and can even prompt lenders to refuse to do business with a city, according to Sesay.
Newsom said the rating agencies noted San Francisco’s economy was fundamentally sound and diverse, and well positioned to benefit from economic recovery. They also cited residents as having above-average socioeconomic and educational profiles, and credited the city for being proactive about budget forecasting and monitoring.