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Toronto Says Borrowing Costs Stable Amid Ford Scandal

Toronto’s borrowing costs remain stable after council voted to remove some of Mayor Rob Ford’s powers and censure him for smoking crack cocaine, the city said today in a statement.

Spreads on Toronto’s most recent bond have held steady since issue, the city said. Toronto sold C$300 million ($285 million) 10-year bonds in September at an interest rate 26 basis points, or 0.26 percentage point, more than comparable Province of Ontario bonds, the city said in a statement. That issue is now trading 25 basis points more than the Ontario benchmark, the city said.

“Recent events at City Hall have had absolutely no impact on our costs or our ability to borrow funds,” Joe Pennachetti, Toronto’s city manager, said in the release.

Since city council moved to censure the mayor last week the average extra interest rate for Toronto bonds increased four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 94 basis points more than federal government benchmarks, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Canadian Provincial & Municipal Index on Nov. 18. The city’s average spread has fallen since then to 89 basis points more than federal benchmarks as of the end of trading yesterday, according to the index.

“We have seen no deterioration in the City of Toronto’s primary and secondary market interest rate spreads,” said Rob Rossini, deputy city manager and chief financial officer.

Moody’s Investors Service rates Toronto’s debt Aa1, while Standard & Poor’s gives the city a AA rating.

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