Bond ratings are an independent opinion of the general creditworthiness of an obligor, such as the Commonwealth, based on relevant risk factors.
Ratings are based on an issuer's ability to repay fully the principal and interest of its short-term or long-term debt obligations on a timely basis. When it goes to market to sell bonds or notes, Debt Management usually asks the three largest rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Services, and Standard & Poor's, to assign the security it is selling with a rating.
Ratings are expressed by a letter grade symbol, such as 'AAA', at the time a bond or note is sold. These ratings are monitored and updated throughout the life of that security to reflect changes in the issuer's credit position. The rating scale for investment grade bonds starts at 'AAA' and goes through 'BBB', with 'AAA' being the highest rating reflecting the strongest creditworthiness and 'BBB' representing the lowest or weakest in terms of credit strength.
In general, rating agencies assign a GO rating based on four main factors: the issuer's economy, the issuer's financial position, the issuer's current/future debt burden and pension liabilities, and management. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts current GO bond ratings are:
Current Massachusetts General Obligation Credit Ratings
Type of Security
Standard & Poor's
General Obligation Bonds
Short-Term General Obligation Notes
|Commonwealth Transportation Bonds||N/A||Aa1||AAA|
|Grant Anticipation Notes||N/A||Aa2||AAA|
|Gas Tax Bonds||AA||Aa1||AAA|
|Convention Center Bonds||N/A||A1||A|
The Commonwealth is currently covered by the following analysts:
Contacts of Rating Analysts
|Coverage Analyst Name||Contact Info|
Standard & Poor’s
|COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL OBLIGATION RATING HISTORY|
|DATE||MOODY'S INVESTOR'S SERVICE||STANDARD & POOR'S||FITCH RATINGS||RATING CHANGE|