University of Hawaii revenue bonds upgraded by Fitch

Bond proceeds will fund $85 million in capital projects at UH campuses

University of Hawaiʻi
Howard Todo, (808) 956-8903
Vice President for Budget & Finance/Chief Financial Officer
Carolyn Tanaka, (808) 956-8109
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Mar 23, 2009

HONOLULU — Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AA-' rating to approximately $100 million of Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) university revenue bonds. Concurrently, Fitch upgrades the unenhanced long-term ratings on UH‘s outstanding bonds as follows:

  • Approximately $112.5 million outstanding university revenue bonds to 'AA-' from 'A+';
  • Approximately $146.2 million outstanding university bonds to 'AA-' from 'A+'.

The Rating Outlook is revised from Positive to Stable.

"I‘m pleased at Fitch‘s recognition of our financial condition," said UH President David McClain. "This bond rating upgrade will permit us to raise funds for essential projects at a lower cost, good news in these challenging economic times."

In its announcement, Fitch cited a number of recent UH accomplishments for influencing the upgrade, including the university‘s "integral role in assisting the state‘s achievement of economic, education, research, and workforce development goals, which has lead to fairly consistent and significant levels of operating and capital support even during times of financial weakness" and "healthy enrollment trends supported by a diversity of program and degree offerings."

"We are extremely pleased that Fitch has recognized the solid financial condition of the university, and the strong support we receive from the Legislature and the Governor, and has seen fit to upgrade our rating, especially given the current state of the general economy," said UH Vice President for Budget and Finance and CFO Howard Todo.

Also cited by Fitch in making the upgrade were "a strengthened fundraising culture which has enabled UH to exceed the goals outlined in its current comprehensive capital campaign," and "sound levels of balance sheet liquidity, supported by a track record of break-even to positive operating performance and conservatively managed investments, and a very low debt burden."

Proceeds of the series 2009A university revenue bonds will fund approximately $85 million of capital projects across the UH system and refund approximately $13.3 million of outstanding series 1995 bonds (not rated by Fitch).

Fitch‘s rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency‘s public website,

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