HAGATNA, Guam , Dec. 23 - The office of the Governor of Guam issued the following news release: " Guam has a bright future ahead, and we worked hard to get there. While Ray and I put the government's finances back together, we asked for your patience and thanked you for your sacrifice. The continued positive news from Wall Street speaks to their confidence in our economy growing. This administration is committed to doing what is right for our people. The trust you place in us is a responsibility Ray and I take seriously. Wall Street sees our commitment to growing this economy and to our families, and its response has raised our stocks in the global financial markets. The men and women of GWA should be commended for helping to shape this story. The continuous improvement in water services speaks to their commitment to excellence." - Governor Eddie Baza Calvo GWA earns high rating for previously unrated bonds Guam Governor Eddie Calvo received some unexpected good news right before Christmas: Standard & Poor's decided to attach its A- rating on Guam Waterworks Authority's new bond onto two older bonds that were never rated. When bonds are upgraded, they increase the chance of higher ratings for future and existing bonds. And when the government spends less on these bond agreements, it has more money to pay for important obligations like tax refunds, pay raises, and vendor payments. Rating shows that Guam is headed in the right direction This is an unexpected move from one of Wall Street's top bond rating firms. The rating is also significant for Guam and for companies that buy Guam's bonds for several reasons. First, the value of bonds purchased from the GWA bonds of 2005 and 2010 significantly appreciated because of the rating. Second, this is another indication to the global financial markets that Guam is a good investment. This news boosts our profile on Wall Street --a profile with proven stability in government finances and high potential from a growing community that's headed places. Fiscal stability a result of work from the beginning of administration Since coming into office in 2011, Governor Calvo and his fiscal policy team put best practices in place, sold bonds at record low interest rates to pay the 20-year-old debt owed to the people of Guam , and improved the financial stability of our government. This commitment to fiscal discipline eliminated the deficit, paid our debts to our people and employees, paid out all tax refunds for TY2012 without the use of any special financing, and created a true tax refund reserve for the first time in recent memory. The fiscal stability policies instituted by Governor Calvo paid not just tax refunds, but also increments, raises, merit bonuses, promised compensation, and back-pay. Guam's economy on the upswing The rise in Guam's financial stock is also due to the island's growing economy and our bright economic future. Our tourism industry is seeing back-to-back banner years for arrivals. Our new Russian market frequently sees triple digit increases in arrivals every month. Meanwhile, visitors from Taiwan and Korea continue to arrive in record numbers. This increase is tourist activity has been met with an increase in investment to Guam . A number of international restaurant franchises are opening soon, and a major fast-food franchise opened just this month. The airport is seeing millions of dollars worth of improvements through its new duty-free vendor. A leading international luxury-brand hotel is opening, and a long-time vacant hotel has reopened. All this present economic activity will be met with one of the most significant times in Guam's history: the military buildup. The passage of this year's National Defense Authorization Act will pave the way for about half a billion dollars of military construction projects to Guam . Once President Obama signs the measure, Guam will have the chance to plan for a new chapter of economic growth. The planning and building to host of Marines relocating from Okinawa will finally begin--giving Guam yet another boost to our economy and to our attraction for Wall Street investment. Recent news supports administration's work This is the latest in a series of great news from New York that boasts Guam's economic future and Governor Calvo's leadership. Just last month: * Bloomberg published a story boasting Guam's bright future in comparison to Puerto Rico's slide on the bond market. * An interview on Standard & Poor's website said, unequivocally, "In our view, the current management team ( Governor Calvo & his fiscal team) gives Guam its best chance in years to improve its credit." * When rating GWA's latest bonds, S&P reported, "As the economy continues to grow both directly and indirectly from the buildup and growth in the tourism sector, income indicators are expected to grow as well." * When rating GWA's latest bonds, Fitch Ratings reported, "a recovery is evident with fiscal [year] 2013 marking the second highest year for visitor arrivals and hotel occupancy rates at 85%, the highest in more than a decade." CC AutoTriage9as-131224-30FurigayJane-4587956 30FurigayJane
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