Port of Oakland to save $87 million through refinancing plan

Port of Oakland launches refinancing strategy

The Port of Oakland has announced a plan to refinance $544 million of debt with new bond offerings, from which it expects to save approximately $87 million.

The Port said in a statement the first of the two planned bond sales closed on 3 December, and the next is due to close on 2 February 2021.

Acting Chief Financial Officer Jule Lam said the Port went to market at the right time. “The strength of our diverse business lines and S&P (Standard and Poors) removing a negative watch while maintaining our ratings, helped us to stand out in the market.” The Port of Oakland has three revenue divisions: maritime, aviation and commercial real estate.

S&P affirmed the Port of Oakland long-term ratings at ‘A+’ for the Port’s senior-lien bonds, ‘A’ for its intermediate-lien bonds, and removed a negative watch they placed on the Port’s rating in August 2020.

As a key credit strength, S&P stated in its ratings report that the Port of Oakland has “very strong management and governance, as evidenced by an experienced, proactive, and effective management team with prudent financial, risk, and debt management practices.”

The Port is currently exploring numerous innovations to improve operations, including expanding its rail infrastructure and investing in environmentally friendly technologies.

In October, the Port saw its imports grow by 10.4% year-on-year, despite also seeing containerised exports fall by 0.5% in the same period. It said it is expecting a slight decrease in container traffic in 2020 due to the combined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering US-China trade war.

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