TEXT - S&P raises Mass Development Finance Agency rating

Thu Dec 6, 2012 10:29am EST

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Dec 6 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today raised its rating on Massachusetts Development Finance Agency's $11.7 million variable-rate revenue bonds series 1997 (for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issue) due Aug. 1, 2027, to 'AA-/A-1+' from 'A/A-1' following the replacement of the letter of credit (LOC) that Bank of America N.A. ('A/A-1') had provided with a new LOC from TD Bank N.A. ('AA-/A-1+'). The 'AA-/A-1+' rating reflects our opinion of the credit and liquidity support that TD Bank N.A. provides in the form of an irrevocable direct-pay LOC. Under the LOC, TD Bank N.A. fully supports all bond payment obligations when the bonds are in the weekly interest rate mode. Therefore, our rating applies only during this rate mode. If the bonds are converted to another rate mode, we will likely withdraw our rating. The 'AA-' long-term component of our rating is based on our long-term issuer credit rating on TD Bank N.A. and addresses full and timely interest and principal payments when the bondholders have not exercised the put option. The 'A-1+' short-term component of our rating is based on our short-term issuer credit rating on TD Bank N.A. and addresses full and timely interest and principal payments when the bondholders have exercised the put option. In view of the series 1997 bond structure, changes to our rating on the weekly rate bonds can result from, among other things, changes to our rating on the LOC provider or amendments to the transaction's terms. We will maintain a rating on the bonds as long as they are in a weekly rate mode and the LOC has not expired or otherwise terminated. If either of these conditions changes, we will likely withdraw our rating on the bonds.

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