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Issuer Type: State/Province
State of Ohio General Obligation Bonds
The Ohio Public Facilities Commission (OPFC) is a body corporate and politic constituting an agency and instrumentality of the state. It is comprised of six members, being the incumbents in the elective offices of Governor, Attorney General, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, and the OBM Director. The governor serves as the chair, the Treasurer of State as the treasurer and the Director of Budget and Management as the secretary of the Commission. Commission members may, at Commission meetings, act through their appointed designees. The OPFC acts as the issuer of the state general obligation debt authorized by the Ohio General Assembly that is backed by the general revenue fund.
Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced the Ohio Public Facilities Commission closed on the refinancing of $185 million of outstanding general obligation debt, achieved $38 million in cash flow savings, and reduced interest costs to 1.22 percent from 4 percent.
The “refunding” bonds for debt originally issued in 2012 benefited from a historically low interest rate environment, sizable investor demand, and Ohio’ strong (AA+/Aa1/AA+) General Obligation credit ratings, which gained momentum earlier this summer when Fitch Ratings elevated the State’s rating outlook from “Stable” to “Positive.”
On a cumulative basis for the calendar year, OBM’s debt savings initiatives will save the General Revenue Fund (GRF) $260 million in cash flow in future fiscal years.
“I’m proud that our efforts have saved Ohio tax dollars this year and into the future. We achieved these results due to the State’s strong economic recovery, our ability to pay off some debt early, and our high-quality credit rating. Ohio is well-managed with strong leadership and conservative fiscal practices and investors notice – our fall transaction was five times oversubscribed”, said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks.
Pricing alongside the refunding bonds, the OPFC sold $181.2 million of “new money” Infrastructure and Conservation bonds at an all-in interest rate of 2.02 percent.
The infrastructure sale supports grants and loans to local governments for investment in roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems. Proceeds from the sale of Conservation bonds, are utilized for green space preservation, recreational trails at Ohio’s state parks, and to protect and preserve farmland.
Citigroup served as senior managing underwriter along with KeyBanc Capital Markets as designated co-senior manager. PFM Financial Advisors LLC. provided financial advisory services.
Governor DeWine serves as chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM director serves as secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.
OBM Announces Robust Monthly Preliminary Revenue Data
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced today that Fitch Ratings, citing the state’s superior financial resilience, affirmed the state’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at “AA+” and elevated the state’s outlook to Positive from Stable. The “AA+” rated (Positive) outlook indicates the state’s low default risk and is one notch below Fitch’s highest credit quality rating of “AAA.”
“Fitch’s decision to upgrade Ohio’s bond rating outlook to Positive is proof that the state of Ohio’s financial management is solid and our economy is surging forward. We took the hard and necessary steps to do what is right for Ohioans, and for our communities. And we are seeing results. Ohio is the first, and so far the only, ‘AA+’ rated state to have its outlook elevated to Positive by one of the three major ratings agencies since the pandemic began,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Ohio is the best state to grow your career, to expand your business or to start a new one, and to raise a family.”
“An improved bond rating outlook is a message that Ohio is managed well, it is a great place to invest and has a bright future,” said Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “It’s just another piece of evidence that Ohio and the Ohio economy are strong as we emerge from the pandemic and prepare for the future.”
“This rating outlook change is strong third-party validation of Ohio’s robust financial position and of Governor Mike DeWine’s proactive management of the state’s finances and economy throughout the turbulent global conditions caused by the pandemic. The decisive actions taken by Governor DeWine starting in February of 2020 to protect Ohioans and control state government spending, prioritizing saving lives to save our economy, worked,” said OBM Director Murnieks.
The Fitch report states, “Outlook revision to Positive from Stable reflects Ohio’s sustained trend of balanced finances and growth in reserves that strengthens the state's financial resilience as it confronts cyclical economic and revenue trends.” The report further cites Ohio’s “superior financial resilience that allowed it to absorb the immediate budgetary effects of the economic downturn.”
The rating action is Fitch’s first change in 11 years when Ohio’s IDR was upgraded from “AA” to “AA+” in 2010. This action represents the highest rating level for Ohio’s IDR by any of the three main rating agencies since 1979.
In connection with the IDR update, Fitch also rated an upcoming issuance of $56.5 million State of Ohio (Treasurer of State) Series 2021A Capital Facilities Lease-Appropriation Bonds (Cultural and Sports Facilities Building Fund Projects) as “AA” Positive outlook and affirmed the ratings and revised outlooks to Positive on Ohio’s “AA+” General Obligation bond rating, “AA” on outstanding appropriation-backed bonds, the “AA” Ohio School District Credit Enhancement Program Rating, and the “A+” PPP Grantor Counterparty rating assigned to the Ohio Department of Transportation's Portsmouth Bypass project payment obligations.
The Fitch report citing Ohio’s superior financial resilience is available here.
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Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced that the Ohio Public Facilities Commission (OPFC) in partnership with OBM’s Capital Markets Team completed the sale of $597 million of Common Schools and Higher Education bonds.
The sale supports capital projects at K-12 schools, colleges and universities around Ohio. The transaction included a $148 million refinancing of debt issued in 2011 and 2013 and will produce $46 million of cash flow savings between fiscal years 2021 and 2033.
The sale priced with an all-in-interest rate of 2.02% and the State achieved attractive pricing as a result of its strong credit ratings (AA+/Aa1/AA+), sizable investor demand generating 5 times more orders than supply, and a low rate environment.
Bank of America Securities served as senior managing underwriter with Loop Capital Markets serving as co-senior manager. Acacia Financial Group, Inc provided Financial Advisory services.
“This spring deal accelerates our year of recovery, which allows for additional support to Ohio’s communities and economy. On behalf of Governor Mike DeWine, OPFC, and OBM, we have achieved measurable results in the marketplace,” said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks.
Governor DeWine serves as Chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM Director serves as Secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.