“Extremely strong management and governance,” says Standard & Poor’s
The Metropolitan Council received the highest possible bond ratings from both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s for its recent bond sale. The ratings, Aaa/MIG-1, and AAA/SP1+, respectively, are the highest possible and awarded to a very limited number of entities nationally.
The Council issues debt primarily to fund capital investment in the regional transit system, wastewater services, and regional parks. These strong bond ratings reflect our financial strength and result in reduced interest costs on bonds sold to finance capital projects. Both rating agencies note the Council’s strong liquidity, diverse revenue and operational base, and well-managed financial operations.
“The high rating is a sign to investors that the bonds we issue are a reliable and low-risk investment,” said Mary Bogie, Acting Regional Administrator. “We take a lot of pride in the services we provide to the public, but also in our financial stability and integrity.”
Standard & Poor’s
Despite a decline in transit ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, S & P says, “The Council’s diverse revenue and operational base, including wastewater treatment and other general operations, are relatively less affected by the pandemic and contribute to our extremely strong market position assessment.
“Our managerial and governance assessment of ‘extremely strong’ reflects the Council's strategic positioning, risk management and financial management, and organizational effectiveness. Metro Council management routinely meets or exceeds its fiscal targets across all operating divisions.”
“The Council's strong liquidity, well-managed financial operations, and very close relationship with the State of Minnesota are further credit strengths that, in the current environment especially, mitigate deep losses in transit ridership and associated fare revenue. An additional credit strength is a low fixed cost burden, a consequence of the Council's moderate debt and pension burdens.”