Above: the USVI
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The US Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority sold $146 million of Matching Fund Bonds last week, a bond issue that raised $130 million to fund the government’s operating costs for three fiscal years.
It will also cover the funding of tax refunds, worker compensation costs and WAPA accounts receivable, the government said in a release.
“The market response was extraordinary,” said Troy Clark, a banker at Jeffries who led the financing team. “Institutional investors did a lot of work digging into this credit, and clearly they voted with their money and liked what they saw — this was a real demonstration of support for the Virgin Islands and its success in building the local rum industry.”
The bonds have received a BBB rating by all three major ratings firms, with a “stable to positive” outlook.
“We have said time and again that this is a good market and that investors understand the progress we are making here,” Governor John de Jongh said. “I encourage the Senate to act on our capital projects and energy legislation so that we can take advantage of the strong and continuing demand for our bonds.”
Andre Dawson, the US Virgin Islands’ Commissioner of Finance, said the financing was a “strong, collective effort.”
“We hope that by the time we are in the market again, the legislature will have acted on the capital projects and energy legislation they have before them, so that we can take advantage of the current market and move forward with those important projects,” he said.
The bonds were sold at an all-in cost of 4.45 percent for a 20-year bond issue.