Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DWSD Water and Sewer Bond Rating Nears Bottom (UPDATE)

Detroit's water and sewer bond rating isn't at the bottom of Fitch's credit rating scale, but its getting very close. 

As reported earlier this week by Bond Buyer and today by the Detroit Free Press, the Fitch Ratings is warning that DWSD's $5.7 billion water and sewer debt could fall to "D" rating if the bankruptcy court approves the Emergency Manager's current plan of adjustment. 

Under the Fitch bond rating scale, there is nothing below a "D" rating. That's as low as it is. 

Comment: In my view, the negotiations concerning a regional water authority should be coming to a head very soon. With Governor Snyder poised to participate in the process, if his staff isn't already involved in the secret settlement talks, and the pressure from Wall Street beginning to build, I anticipate a tentative deal to be announced very soon. I think there is still much work to be done before any deal regarding the new authority can be finalized, but I think the outline of a deal is taking shape. 

Update (6/16): Earlier today, Fitch Ratings withdrew its "D" bond rating of Detroit's water and sewer debt. If I'm reading Fitch's ratings definitions correctly, Fitch is no longer providing a rating for DWSD's bonds. I think this is the equivalent of a stock being delisted by one of the stock exchanges. In other words, not good.     

For more about DWSD Update, click here