“This is great news. My thanks to Keeley Webster and The Bond Buyer for this article. They’re getting our story out there for the world to see that, even amid bad financial news elsewhere, Guam is different. We’re a beacon glowing brighter every year. We’re leading our island into better times despite what happens elsewhere. That’s good for our people and it’s good for our investors. We’re going to keep moving in this direction because our work isn’t done yet.” — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo
The Bond Buyer (“The daily newspaper of public finance”) recently hasn’t had many positive reports of state, territorial, or county government finances. The Bond Buyer is the global publication investors around the world read to see what municipal issuers and governments are risky or safe for business. A positive story is a big deal, especially when the pool for investment shrinks with negative news on finances in many other places.
That’s why the story, Junk-Rated Guam Reports Budget Surplus, by Keeley Webster appearing on the front page of today’s The Bond Buyer is a big deal for us. The story comes ahead of Governor Eddie Calvo’s early-August push for credit rating review in San Francisco. (NOTE: GovGuam lost its long-held investment grade credit rating after 1999. This followed a string of audits, investigations, questioned costs, and uncertain economic times. GovGuam’s general obligation bonds have since been junk-rated; however, our credit rating has been increasing the last two years, giving hope that Gov. Calvo will be able to restore GovGuam to investment grade credit.)
The Bond Buyer’s Webster announces Guam’s second consecutive budget surplus in this story before noting Governor Calvo’s fiscal reforms that led to the achievement. Webster mentions the recent upgrade in our general obligation bonds credit rating to BB-minus (with a stable outlook) from B-plus last October by Standard & Poors. And he acknowledges, “A large portion of the debt Guam issued in recent years has gone toward paying down other long-term liabilities such as unpaid tax refunds.” Hence, acknowledgment from an independent third party that Gov. Calvo transferred the burden of the existing tax refund debt from the shoulders of the people to the bank, where the interest rate is a lot better anyway.
In the article, Guam Economic Development Authority Public Finance Manager Lester Carlson, Jr. also makes the pitch for businesses to invest in Guam. Along with the improving financial condition, Carlson notes Guam’s close proximity to major Asian economies, the strength of tourism, and tourism’s growth potential.
You can click on the link in the second paragraph of this release to read the story, or you can click the following link:
Please call Phillip Leon Guerrero at (671) 929-7467 for more information.

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