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TEXT-Fitch: U.S. transportation downside risk captured in current ratings
July 16, 2012 / 3:03 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT-Fitch: U.S. transportation downside risk captured in current ratings

July 16 - Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: 2012 Midyear Outlook: U.S.
Transportation Infrastructure (Volumes Stable, but Crosscurrents Continue)July 16 - Eleven percent of Fitch's rated transportation infrastructure
securities have a Negative Outlook - a figure that is not expected to change in
2012, according to a new Fitch Ratings report.

'Barring event risk not captured by Fitch's downside scenarios, the U.S.
portfolio is not expected to see widespread negative rating action for the
remainder of 2012,' said Mike McDermott, Managing Director. 'The increasingly
weak U.S. economy, bank downgrades below project funding ratings, or a liquidity
shortage could change our outlook.'

Airports remain Stable to Negative. Approximately 85 percent of airport ratings
have Stable Outlooks indicating greater rating stability over the course of the
year. The three domestic hub airports at Chicago O'Hare, Miami, and Dallas-Ft.
Worth remain on Negative Outlook while the American Airlines bankruptcy runs its
course. New Orleans was placed on Positive Outlook reflecting increased traffic
growth and maintained strong coverage ratios and low leverage.

Ports remain stable, though challenges persist. Port volumes were generally flat
through May 2012. The effects of volume shifts on net revenues have been
moderate because ports took steps to manage costs and match new capital spending
with locked-in contracts.

Toll roads also remain stable. While traffic volume on Fitch-rated toll roads is
up three percent, the macro environment may depress traffic and lead to slow
growth for the reminder of the year. Toll revenue has grown at a higher rate
than volume, particularly for urban bridges and turnpikes. If a true recovery
continues to drag, the next round of toll increases could see more elasticity or
political pushback, resulting in decreased revenue.

On July 6th President Obama signed Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st
Century, which ensures a continuation of the flow of federal highway and transit
grants. Fitch is reviewing the enacted legislation and will resolve the Negative
Rating Outlook on its standalone GARVEE bond ratings in the coming weeks.

For more information on the airport, port and toll road sectors, a special
report titled '2012 Midyear Outlook: U.S. Transportation Infrastructure' is
available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.


Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

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