San Diego Business Journal

The city of San Diego recently got some positive news when Fitch Ratings upgraded the credit ratings on several previously issued bonds, reflecting "significant management structural and procedural changes" the city made.

In its Dec. 12 report, Fitch said it upgraded five different bond issues, mostly from BBB- to A, and assigned a new A rating to one issue it previously had not graded. Fitch also removed a rating watch designation to several issues, and assigned a stable rating outlook.

Fitch downgraded the city's debt several times starting in February 2004 after the city revealed it omitted financial data associated with obligations to its employee pension plan.

That caused other rating agencies to downgrade the city's outstanding debt or stop providing credit ratings altogether.

The two largest city bonds rated by Fitch were $153 million in lease revenue bonds refinanced in 2007 that were previously unrated and assigned an A rating; and $173 million in bonds issued for the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, upgraded from BBB- to A.

Fitch called the city's current financial condition "sound, marked by a good year-end balance."

, Mike Allen