Tags: Muni | Bonds | Likely | Default

Fitch: The 10 Muni Bonds Most Likely to Default

By Dan Weil   |  

The municipal bond market has been white-hot of late, with the Merrill Lynch long-term muni index returning 18 percent during the last year.

But many think the good times will soon end, thanks to the burgeoning budget crises in multiple states and cities.

Here are the 10 muni bonds Fitch Ratings rank the lowest, courtesy of CNBC.

• Cluberson County Hospital District, Texas. Rated Triple B-minus. General obligation bond: unlimited tax backing.

• Buena Vista Township, Michigan. Rated Triple B-minus. General obligation bond: limited tax backing.

• Robstown, Texas. Rated Triple B-minus. General obligation bond: limited tax backing.

• Tulia, Texas. Rated Triple B-minus. General obligation: limited tax backing.

• Saddle Mountain Unified School District No. 90, Arizona. Rated Double B. General obligation: unlimited tax backing.

• Littlefield, Texas. Rated Double B. General obligation: limited tax backing.

• U.S. Virgin Islands. Rated Double B. General obligation: unlimited tax backing.

• Detroit. Rated Double B-minus. General obligation: limited tax backing.

• Harvey, Illinois. Rated B. General obligation: unlimited tax backing.

• Pontiac, Michigan. Rated Triple C. General obligation: limited tax backing.

To be sure, not all munis are at risk.

“There is a lot of talk about the rising budget deficits of municipalities,” Miriam Sjoblom, a bond fund analyst for Morningstar, told Moneynews.com.

“But there is universal agreement you won’t see the kind of defaults [among states and cities] that you’ll see for corporations.”

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The municipal bond market has been white-hot of late, with the Merrill Lynch long-term muni index returning 18 percent during the last year. But many think the good times will soon end, thanks to the burgeoning budget crises in multiple states and cities. Here are the 10...
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