Puerto Rico Sells $335 Million of Privately Placed Bonds

Puerto Rico, which has a credit rating lower than any U.S. state, sold $335 million of short-term debt backed by sales-tax revenue this week, the first borrowing by a commonwealth issuer since November, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp. sold the notes in a private placement with Barclays Capital Inc. as underwriter, Bloomberg data show. Payment is due Sept. 30, 2014, with an interest rate of 1.95 percent. All three major credit-rating companies grade Puerto Rico’s general-obligation debt one step above non-investment grade, with a negative outlook. Moody’s Investors Service rates the subordinated sales-tax bonds at A3, three steps above its general-obligation Baa3.

Municipal debt sold in Puerto Rico is tax-exempt in all U.S. states. Javier Ferrer, president of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, the island’s fiscal agent, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the sale, Betsy Nazario, a spokeswoman for the bank, said.

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