Buoyed by its continued strong finances and competitive position, the Port of Los Angeles has been upgraded to an AA+ bond rating with stable outlook on its outstanding bonds by Standards & Poor’s (S&P), the highest rating given to a seaport without taxing authority.
“The upgrade reflects our view of the Port maintaining is historically high financial metrics and extremely competitive position during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Scott Shad. “Trade tensions with China have not resulted in weaker financial performance, and supply chain disruptions and congestion have somewhat subsided, thereby mitigating operational challenges.”
“This AA+ rating demonstrates how the Port of Los Angeles remains fiscally responsible while managing its debt obligations and supporting job creation,” said Port of Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Marla Bleavins. “With a continued focus on enhancing infrastructure and redevelopment, the Port is well-positioned to meet its strategic objectives and priorities.”
S&P also cited the Port’s continued strong business position, stable portfolio of assets and excellent historical financial performance as factors contributing to the top rating. An investment grade of AA+ indicates a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments.
Prior to its AA+ upgrade, the Port of Los Angeles maintained an AA rating with S&P since 1996. The Port also maintains high ratings from two other bond rating services, Moody’s (Aa2), and Fitch Ratings (AA). The Port holds the highest bond ratings of any non-tax-supported seaport in the United States.
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While the Port of Los Angeles is a department of the City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Harbor Department), it is not supported by City taxes. Operating as a landlord port with more than 200 leaseholders, the Port generates most of its revenues from fees for shipping and leasing of facilities. Revenue Bonds are issued by the Port to finance capital improvement projects.
Source: Port of Los Angeles