The North Carolina State Ports Authority sold approximately $44 million in bonds on Feb. 24 to support port terminal expansion projects, including reconstruction of a container berth at the Port of Wilmington, and a 177,000 square-foot warehouse at the Port of Morehead City.
Ports Authority CFO Jeffrey L. Strader said the bonds had received strong demand from North Carolina citizens and financial institutions.
“Investors placed over $160 million in orders for the approximately $44 million available," Strader said. “The strong demand lowered interest rates, saving the Authority a half million dollars over the 30-year life of the issue."
Bond rating agency, Moody’s, gave an A3 rating to the NC State Ports Authority senior lien revenue bonds. Fitch assigned a ‘BBB+’ rating.
The bonds will be secured by the Authority’s net revenue after payment of operating and maintenance expenses. Both ratings are described as solid investment grade.
“Of equal note is that both Moody's and Fitch characterized the outlook for the Ports Authority as stable," said Strader.
Assisting the Ports Authority in the bond sale was Public Financial Management, the Authority’s financial advisors, Morgan Stanley, lead underwriter, Wells Fargo, co-managing underwriter, and Womble Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, bond counsel.
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