Standard & Poor’s favourable review of the City’s Olympic Village debt repayment and detailed budget and financial reporting is welcome news for the City and could lead to an upward credit rating in the next two years according to the ratings agency.
“Favourable ratings and reviews by international credit ratings agencies confirm the City’s sound budgeting and financial management,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We are particularly determined to make significant progress on the Olympic Village debt and pleased S&P has recognized that progress.
“We are committed to fiscal discipline and have consistently delivered budgets that are balanced, progressive, and pragmatic. S&P’s positive review of the City’s financial profile and potential upward credit rating in the next two years is great news. With the prospect of an improved credit rating, our citizens will pay less in interest costs when borrowing for important capital projects like new libraries and community centres.”
S&P’s credit rating for the City is AA/Stable/A-1+, the second upward revision since Jan. 2009. A strong rating allows the City to borrow at more favourable interest rates.
Factors cited in S&P’s assessment include:
- the City’s significant reduction of the Olympic Village debt;
- the City’s financial management policies and practices and the flexibility those provide;
- a high level of transparency and disclosure in the City of Vancouver’s budget and financial documents;
- Vancouver’s continuing recovery from the recession which has led to a strong rebound in housing starts and building permits;
- the attraction of advanced technology, biomedical research, and film industries; and,
- the improving employment rate across the region.