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Fitch rates health system's bonds 'AA'

TUPELO — Fitch Ratings has assigned an “AA” rating to approximately $75 million in Mississippi Hospital Equipment and Facilities Authority revenue bonds (North Mississippi Health Services), 2010 series 1.

Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the “AA” rating on North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS) approximately $127.6 million in outstanding parity debt, as well as the “F1+” short-term rating on the parity debt.

All of NMHS’ outstanding debt is variable debt supported by self-liquidity.

The rating outlook is “stable.”

The series 2010 bonds will be issued as fixed rated debt, of which half will be issued as seven year serial maturity bonds, with a 2017 bullet maturity. The seven-year bonds, which are structured to take advantage of the current yield curve, are not a credit concern as Fitch said it believes NMHS has the financial flexibility to restructure the debt or resources to meet the bullet maturity when it comes due.

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