Minneapolis outlook lifted to positive by Moody's

BY SourceMedia | MUNICIPAL | 12/04/23 11:35 AM EST By Rich Saskal

Minneapolis received a bump from Moody's Investors Service (MCO), which revised its outlook on the city to positive from stable and affirmed its Aa1 issuer and general obligation unlimited tax bond ratings.

The Nov. 29 action affects about $875 million of GO debt, Moody's said.

"The positive outlook is based on improving credit metrics including growing full value per capita, strengthening resident income relative to the nation and moderation of leverage," the rating agency said. "It also incorporates our expectation that property tax revenues will remain strong and reserves ample even if certain segments of the tax base weaken such as commercial real estate."

Fitch Ratings upgraded Minneapolis to AAA in August. S&P Global Ratings assigns its AAA rating to Minnesota's most populous city.

Minneapolis has for several years used only S&P and Fitch to rate new deals.

"We are grateful that Moody's continues to review the city and rate bonds they originally rated," Allen Hoppe, the city's debt director, said in an email.

"As a AAA credit, the city uses just two of the three main muni rating agencies for its conventional debt issuances because it has not found an increase in the number of bidders or a detectible lower TIC when using more than two," he said. "The last sale had 10 bidders."

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.