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Hawaiʻi Sells Upwards of $1.9 Billion in GO Bonds

October 14, 2021, 1:33 PM HST
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Gov. David Ige announced Thursday, Oct. 14 that the State of Hawaiʻi has sold $1.88 billion in general obligation (GO) bonds, the highest amount of bonds ever sold by the state.

Money from the sale will be used to fund new and existing projects.

“This bond sale will provide ongoing funding for critical state construction projects including schools, highways, airports and harbors,” the governor said. “These investments improve services for the people of Hawaiʻi, create jobs that strengthen our communities, and contribute to the state’s economic recovery as we look beyond the pandemic.”

Prior to the bond sale, Ige and the state’s finance team met with the three primary credit rating agencies (Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s). As a result of the presentation, Moody’s affirmed the state’s Aa2 rating and revised the outlook for the State of Hawaiʻi to positive, which reflects “a significant turnaround in the state’s economic and financial position,” according to Moody’s report.

S&P affirmed the AA+ rating and revised the outlook to stable, saying that “the outlook revision reflects our view that despite the country’s strictest pandemic response measures and continued controlled reopening of its economy, Hawaiʻi’s economic momentum has shifted sufficiently upward to provide a more manageable operating environment.” 

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Fitch also affirmed its AA rating with a stable outlook for Hawaiʻi.

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The state’s marketing efforts included live investor presentations held via video conference. More than 120 institutions placed over $8 billion of orders for the bonds – a record number of orders for the state. Bonds were also purchased by Hawaiʻi residents and local institutions, as well as a number of international investors.

Additionally, the advance refunding that refinances part of the state’s existing debt will generate $76.8 million in present value savings. 

BofA Securities served as lead underwriter, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley served as co-senior managers, and Jeffries and RBC served as co-managers for the bond sale.

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