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The City of Richmond Receives AAA Bond Rating from Fitch Ratings

Media Advisory                                                                               
May 23, 2024
Contact: Petula Burks
Phone: 804.389.7157

For Immediate Release

The City of Richmond Receives AAA Bond Rating from Fitch Ratings

Resiliency |  Stability  |  Strong Reserves

Richmond, VA - Fitch Ratings, one of the three National Credit Rating Agencies, in a press release yesterday, assigned the City the highest possible rating of AAA based on the City’s strong finances, economic profile and well managed operations. This rating, a testament to Richmond's financial resilience and strong reserves, underscores the City's stability and strength. It's a reassurance to our stakeholders and the public that the City of Richmond is in a robust financial position.

The AAA rating, a mark of our financial strength, allows the City to borrow money at the lowest interest rates possible. This translates into significant savings of millions of dollars for our residents. These savings are then channeled towards projects that directly improve our daily lives, such as improvements to roadways, sidewalks and bikeways; improvements to neighborhood parks, libraries, and recreational facilities; construction and major renovations of schools and other City facilities. 

What does this mean for the Diamond District bonds? The rating agency's AAA bond rating underscores the positives of the Diamond District project approved by Council on May 8, 2024. 

"When I came into office, I made the promise of moving the City to a AAA Bond Rating. Today, that promise has been kept,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.  “With the Fitch rating, the City is among an elite class of organizations that have proven financial responsibility at the highest level. I am grateful for all the hard work from city staff, especially DCAO Sabrina Joy-Hogg and finance director Sheila White, and our public and private partnerships that helped make this possible. This is a massive step forward for our city.”

In addition to Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings reaffirmed its 'AA+' long-term rating for Richmond based upon the City’s expanding economy; track record of strong financial results and very strong reserves; and well-established and strong financial management policies. In addition, S&P reaffirmed its Positive Outlook which reflects one-in-three chance that the City could receive an upgrade if it sustains economic growth and financial resilience.

Moody's Ratings has reaffirmed a ‘Aa1’ rating with a Stable Outlook.  The rating is based upon their expectation that the city's financial position will remain healthy given management's conservative budgeting practices and adherence to formal fiscal and debt policies.

Bond ratings for both corporations and government agencies are similar to a credit score. The three primary credit rating agencies are Moody’s Investor Services, Standard & Poor's Global, and Fitch Ratings. These agencies offer impartial evaluations of a bond issuer's financial strength and their ability to repay a bond's principal and interest.

Click here to download the press release.