RPT-Fitch Affirms and Withdraws State of New South Wales' Ratings

Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:57am EDT

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March 21 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency) Fitch Ratings has affirmed the State of New South Wales' Long- and Short-Term Local and Foreign Currency ratings at 'AAA' and 'F1+' respectively. The Outlook is Stable. At the same time, Fitch has affirmed all other ratings of New South Wales at 'AAA' as listed below. Fitch has simultaneously withdrawn the ratings they are no longer considered by Fitch to be relevant to the agency's coverage. Accordingly, Fitch will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage for New South Wales. Key Rating Drivers The ratings reflect the state's strong institutional framework as manifested in large, tied and untied grant payments by the Commonwealth of Australia. The ratings also consider the state's stable and diversified economy as well as its forecasted improving operating margin to 15.88% for FY16 from 9.04% for FY13. They further take into account the state's strong access to capital markets, robust liquidity position, as well as its increasing debt burden to AUD39.7bn for FY16 from AUD31.2bn for FY13, a growing capital expenditure programme and large unfunded superannuation liabilities. The ratings also include potential risks from New South Wales Treasury Corporation whose liabilities are guaranteed by the state. State of New South Wales: Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating affirmed at 'AAA'; Outlook Stable; withdrawn Long-Term Local Currency Rating affirmed at 'AAA', Outlook Stable; withdrawn Short-Term Foreign Currency Rating affirmed at 'F1+'; withdrawn Senior unsecured foreign currency notes affirmed at 'AAA'; withdrawn Government-guaranteed securities affirmed at 'AAA'; withdrawn

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