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Nov 27, 2014

Puerto Rico threatened with transit shutdown in political spat

By Edward Krudy

(Reuters) – Puerto Rico’s public transit system will shut down on Monday if lawmakers do not increase a tax on oil, the U.S. commonwealth’s Government Development Bank said, accusing politicians of taking an “irresponsible” gamble on the island’s economy.

The possible shutdown of Puerto Rico’s buses and commuter train services, affecting 75,000 commuters, would be a major escalation of the island’s debt crisis and would threaten its fragile economy.

Nov 25, 2014

FBI raids Puerto Rico sewer authority PRASA

NEW YORK/SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Nov 25 (Reuters) – The U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a surprise raid at
Puerto Rico’s Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) on Tuesday in
a probe the head of the commonwealth agency said was focused on
a single case and not the entire agency.

“They came for some very specific information that we openly
provided regarding one case,” Executive President Alberto Lazaro
said in a telephone interview.

Oct 20, 2014

Puerto Rico forecast assumes $1.3 bln financing by year-end

NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Puerto Rico’s Government
Development Bank (GDB), the financing arm of the troubled U.S.
commonwealth, will require around $1.3 billion in market
financing by the end of December to meet its liquidity
forecasts, according to a recent update from the GDB.

The financing, aimed at shoring up the GDB’s liquidity
position, would include $1 billion of a loan made to the Puerto
Rico Highway and Transportation Authority (PRHTA) by the GDB
and the remaining balance of $292 million of $400 million in
PRHTA’s short-term bond anticipation notes.

Oct 15, 2014

Puerto Rico emphasizes liquidity in finance team shake up

Oct 15 (Reuters) – Puerto Rico’s governor nominated Treasury
Secretary Melba Acosta Febo as president of the Government
Development Bank (GDB) on Wednesday in a move that places more
emphasis on the financing needs of the troubled U.S.
commonwealth.

The move, part of a broader shake-up of the government’s
economic team, will be of interest to investors in the island’s
more than $70 billion in debt. It comes at a time when the
government is trying to make good on its promises to balance the
budget, kick-start the economy and manage liquidity.

Oct 10, 2014

Puerto Rico pays heavy price in $1.2 billion note sale

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Puerto Rico paid a steep price to complete a $1.2 bln short-term financing deal on Friday as bonds of the indebted commonwealth slipped to a three-month low and recent data showed the economy and tax revenues remain weak.

Puerto Rico paid an interest rate of nearly 8 percent to borrow from a syndicate of banks until next June, the commonwealth’s Government Development Bank (GDB) said on Friday, a hefty premium compared with top-rated municipal borrowers, who pay about 0.13 percent to borrow for a year.

Oct 9, 2014

Puerto Rico’s tax revenues unexpectedly drop in September

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Puerto Rico’s tax revenues
unexpectedly fell in September as nearly every tax category
missed the government’s forecast, casting doubt on the ability
of the heavily indebted U.S. commonwealth to balance its budget.

September revenues fell to $709 million, a drop of 3 percent
compared to the same period last year, and $46 million shy of
the governments forecast, Puerto Rico’s Treasury Department said
in a statement on Thursday.

Oct 9, 2014

Moody’s ‘manipulated’ public pensions data in report -NASRA

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Moody’s “manipulated” public
pension data in a way that has presented an excessively bleak
picture of the $3.7 trillion sector, an advocacy group for state
pension funds said in a hard-hitting open letter to the ratings
agency.

The letter, dated Oct. 8, follows the publication of a
report by Moody’s last month that claimed public pension
liabilities had tripled to $2 trillion from 2004 to 2012 and
that public pension funds had been taking on greater risk to
make up the shortfall.

Oct 8, 2014

Data breach at bond insurer MBIA may affect thousands of local U.S. governments

NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Bond insurer MBIA was
told two weeks ago about a server breach that compromised the
data of thousands of local U.S. government entities, but it did
not address the problem until earlier this week, according to
the cyber security expert who discovered the intrusion.

MBIA said on Tuesday it had been notified that some client
information at its Cutwater Asset Management unit may have been
illegally accessed.

Sep 24, 2014

NYC transportation plan may not be funded for years: official

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority passed a 5-year investment program with a $15.2 billion shortfall on Wednesday, and its chief executive said it may take years before the agency secures full funding.

While the first few years of the $32 billion plan would be fully funded, it would cast doubt over out years at a time when the MTA is already facing the prospect of delays to existing projects and growing demands on its aging infrastructure.

Sep 23, 2014

New York’s MTA faces $15.2 billion funding shortfall in infrastructure plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operator of one of the world’s largest public transportation networks, said ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday that it is facing a $15.2 billion shortfall for its infrastructure needs.

In a document posted on its website the MTA said it will “work with its funding partners to identify the additional resources needed to achieve full funding.” It said alternatives include reducing the size of the capital program or increasing fares and tolls.

    • About Edward

      "Ed Krudy leads a team covering the U.S. equity market from New York, where he has been since 2009. Prior to that he set up Thomson's new bureau in Budapest, where he initiated coverage of economic, political, market and company news."
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