|Wednesday, 11 February 1998|
City Councils credit rating maintained at AA/Stable
International credit rating agency, Standard and Poors, have recently confirmed the AA credit status of both Christchurch City Council and its 100% owned subsidiary, Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL). CCHL holds and monitors the Councils major trading enterprises - Southpower, Lyttelton Port Company, Christchurch International Airport and Christchurch Transport.
Standard and Poors based their opinion on the Councils moderate debt position and strong ongoing budgetary position, coupled with the underlying strength and diversity of the regional economy.
"An AA credit rating places the Council and CCHL on an equivalent footing to organisations such as the Bank of New Zealand, Barclays Bank, New Zealand Dairy Board and Telecom New Zealand," said Bob Lineham the Finance Director for the Christchurch City Council.
The credit rating enables our City to obtain debt funding at very competitive rates.
Although the Council is forecasting increasing debt levels in the medium term to finance the substantial capital enhancement programme in place, Standard and Poors note that net interest cover will remain strong over the period, and conclude that the credit rating outlook is stable.
Standard and Poors also note in their report a significant improvement in the operating surplus resulting from a continued strengthening in the operating position of CCHL. They also comment that in 1996, the Councils average residential rates were among the lowest of the largest nine city councils.