City of Portsmouth Concludes Sale of $30.5 Million in General Obligation Bonds

April 13, 2021

The City of Portsmouth has completed the sale of $30,514,594 in 20-year general obligation bonds to fund approved projects for General, Water and Sewer Fund projects, with bond premiums of $2,588,094.

The City’s Finance Director Judith Belanger received competitive bids from twelve bond underwriters through City’s Financial Advisor, Hilltop Securities Inc. in Boston MA. FHN Financial Capital Markets was the winning bidder, committing to an average interest rate of 1.4699 percent. The premium reduces the amount the City has to pay back over the life of the bond.

The offering also included the refinancing of callable bonds that the City originally issued in May 2010. That refinancing saved the City just over $1 million in interest over the remaining life of the bonds.

Prior to the sale, the municipal bond credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s issued the ninth annual affirmation of a AAA rating of the City’s ability to manage its credit, citing its “very strong management with strong financial policies and practices.”

“The City benefitted from very close competitive bidding on this bonding, thanks to the AAA rating and Standard & Poor’s affirmation of our financial strength and the local economy,” said City Manager Karen Conard. “That rating ultimately saves taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars while also allowing us to move forward with the capital investments they expect.”