Aberdeen Council in £370m bond issue

Aberdeen City Council has announced the successful pricing of index linked bonds to raise £370 million to fund investment in the city’s “transformational capital and infrastructure programme.”

The bond issue is the first of its kind by a Scottish local authority.

Council leader Jennifer Laing said: “This is a remarkable achievement by this council in securing this investment in the future of our city.

“Having already secured a credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service at Aa2, the issue of the bond sees another step forward by the council in delivering a stable and fiscally prudent financial strategy that is both affordable and sustainable for the future as demonstrated by investor confidence.

“To continue to compete on an international stage, it is vital that we deliver world class facilities for Aberdeen’s citizens, businesses and visitors.

“Today’s announcement is a major boost towards that objective.”

Finance, Policy and Resources committee convener Councillor Willie Young said: “The bond issue is part of our strategy to maintain a diversified funding portfolio that provides us with greater financial flexibility.

“This flexibility will help Aberdeen anchor its status as both a Global Energy Hub as well as ensuring that we have the infrastructure required to attract world class businesses as we seek to broaden and diversify our economic base.”

The proceeds from the bond issue will be used to drive a capital programme which includes investment in vital infrastructure throughout the city.

This includes a City Centre Masterplan, school and housing developments, roads construction, digital enhancements and a variety of key projects designed to act as a catalyst for economic growth.

In its report, Moody’s Investors Service reported that Aberdeen City Council’s “internal governance and scrutiny is strong, supported by recent assessments from the Accounts Commission.”

Moody’s also noted that the “Council has demonstrated a solid financial record for the last five years maintaining a net surplus against budget for the last five years with previous forecasts on expected outturns being realistic.”