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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/26/2000

Moody's Cites Port In Positive City Credit Ratings

Local governments can thank the Port of Charleston for their favorable credit ratings.

The success of the Port of Charleston is a driving factor in the bright financial future expected for city governments in Charleston and North Charleston, according to Moody's Investors Service.

Moody's recently looked at South Carolina's five largest cities - Charleston, North Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Rock Hill - and predicts stable to improving credit positions.

Moody's said in a special comment that its rosy assessment "is a product of a healthy state economy, the economic benefit derived from the Port of Charleston, a strong transportation infrastructure and the state's aggressive economic development initiatives."

While the study said all five cities benefit from the positive trends, the local area has specific benefit from the maritime community, which it calls "a nationally renown shipping port." The report says, "Charleston and North Charleston derive direct economic benefit from the Port of Charleston and Charleston further benefits from its sizable tourism sector."

Other positives in the city of Charleston were tourism and economic diversity in the historic section including centers of higher learning. Moody's noted "modest" growth in the city of Charleston's tax base, but anticipated reassessment in 2001 "will result in significant tax base growth."

In addition to the port, "North Charleston benefits from its location near the city of Charleston." The report also cited residential growth and a "diverse assortment of manufacturing, trade and service industries." North Charleston's "unique challenges" include above average debt and below average wealth and income levels.