Rating agency downgrades Moberly's bonds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A credit rating agency has downgraded bonds Moberly issued for a troubled project to produce artificial sweetener in central Missouri.

Moberly guaranteed $39 million in bonds for the plant. Mamtek U.S. Inc. planned to employ several hundred people, but the company laid off its employees and missed its first bond payment. A reserve fund was used to pay bondholders.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/nfVM5W) that Standard & Poor's downgraded the bonds from "A-minus" to "CC." The rating agency says it means debt payments are considered highly vulnerable.

The rating agency also downgraded a series of 2008 bonds from Moberly from "A-minus" to "B-minus" and lowered the city's issuer credit rating from "A'' to "B." That means Moberly could pay for borrowing it does in the future.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com


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