Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Utilizes Congressional Authority to Provide More Than $2.2 Billion in Credit Support for Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds

/PRNewswire/ -- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) today announced that it has utilized authority approved by Congress to provide over 50 letters of credit totaling more than $2.2 billion for non-housing-related tax-exempt bond transactions, stimulating economic development and lowering the cost of borrowing for public finance projects.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) authorized FHLBank Atlanta to provide credit support for tax-exempt bonds issued or refunded between July 30, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2010. Traditionally, FHLBank Atlanta provided letters of credit for housing-related and taxable financing, and HERA now permits the support of a wider range of public projects, including economic development, public utility, and healthcare facilities.

FHLBank Atlanta's triple-A credit rating allows local governmental entities to borrow at lower costs while helping to maintain the flow of financing within a tighter credit market. In a typical transaction, FHLBank Atlanta serves as a provider of credit enhancement for the transaction on behalf of its member institutions as they work directly with municipal bond issuers.

Since Aug. 2008, FHLBank Atlanta has provided confirming letters of credit under HERA authority on behalf of 11 member financial institutions to support transactions that include $1.2 million for the Industrial Development Board of the City of Oxford (Alabama) and $108.7 million for the North Carolina Medical Care Commission.

"By lowering the cost of municipal bond transactions, we continue to support economic development activities in these communities during an ongoing period of budget constraints," said Richard A. Dorfman, FHLBank Atlanta President and Chief Executive Officer. "This Congressional authority has provided FHLBank Atlanta with the opportunity to make an important difference in the communities we serve through our member institutions."

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