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AA Positive Rating Retained By Marlborough District Council

Marlborough District Council’s ‘robust financial management and relatively low debt’ has contributed to it retaining its “AA Positive” long term credit rating by rating agency S&P Global.

The S&P Global assessment takes into account the financial position of the Council Group, which includes MDC Holdings Ltd, Port Marlborough NZ Ltd and Marlborough Airport Ltd.

S&P Global said: “The COVID-19 economic shock has had only a minor effect on Marlborough’s finances, though we expect elevated capital spending to lead to modest after-capital-account deficits during the next few years.”

“The Council has plans to ramp up its infrastructure spending, with a large volume of projects having recently gone to tender or contract.”

“Operating surpluses are likely to remain strong, averaging about 22% of operating revenues during fiscal years 2019 to 2023. Despite the onset of the pandemic, the outturn for fiscal 2020 was stronger than we previously anticipated, largely because of delays in rolling out capital spending.”

S&P Global noted the Council’s debt burden will remain low relative to its peers.

“Marlborough’s fiscal processes are credible and well established. The Council’s treasury management polices set prudent limits on external borrowing and interest rate risk, and all borrowing is in local currency.”

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett welcomed the update.

“S&P Global has again recognised our strong financial management and governance, good fiscal processes and moderate debt levels.”

“While the Council continues to invest in water, sewerage, transport and community infrastructure to support Marlborough’s growth, residents and ratepayers can have confidence that the Council’s books are in great shape,” he said.

The S&P Global Research Update for Marlborough District Council is attached.


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