Austrian State of Burgenland Ratings Affirmed At 'AA/A-1+'; Outlook Stable

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1 Research Update: Austrian State of Burgenland Ratings Affirmed At 'AA/A-1+'; Outlook Stable Primary Credit Analyst: Niklas Steinert, Frankfurt (0049) ; Secondary Contact: Alois Strasser, Frankfurt (49) ; Table Of Contents Overview Rating Action Outlook Rationale Key Statistics Ratings Score Snapshot Key Sovereign Statistics Related Criteria And Research Ratings List APRIL 28,

2 Research Update: Austrian State of Burgenland Ratings Affirmed At 'AA/A-1+'; Outlook Stable Overview Burgenland continues to post a sound budgetary performance, with only minor deficits that it can fund through past cash accumulation, and a gradual decrease in direct debt. We now include the debt of the state hospital institution KRAGES in our assessment of the state's tax-supported debt burden, which we expect to rise over the next few years. We are affirming our ratings on the State of Burgenland at 'AA/A-1+'. The outlook remains stable. The stable outlook reflects our view that Burgenland will continue to post sound budgetary results while retaining most of its cash reserves over next couple of years. Rating Action On April 28, 2017, S&P Global Ratings affirmed the 'AA/A-1+' issuer credit ratings on the State of Burgenland. The outlook is stable. Outlook The stable outlook reflects our view that Burgenland's financial management will remain committed to a sound budgetary performance. We anticipate minor deficits after capital expenditure over the next couple of years, but these will be well covered by recently accumulated cash reserves. This will enable the state to keep decreasing its direct debt burden. We also expect Burgenland to retain its liquidity position over our forecast horizon to At the same time, we assume that Burgenland's economic profile will remain slightly weaker than the very strong national average. Downside Scenario We would consider downgrading Burgenland if we saw increased deficits after capital accounts, resulting in an increase in the state's direct debt ratios, and a quickerthan-anticipated depletion of cash reserves. Such a scenario would also likely lead us to take a more negative view of the state's financial management. However, we consider this scenario unlikely. Upside Scenario We could upgrade Burgenland if we changed our assessment of the institutional framework for all Austrian states or if the economic profile of the state converged much quicker than currently toward the national average. We currently see this as unlikely. APRIL 28,

3 Rationale Burgenland's financial management remains committed to sustainable public finances and sound budgetary performance, in our view. During our forecast period to 2019 we expect only slight deficits after capital accounts, which will be covered by the state's accumulated reserves. We have adjusted our estimates to exclude transfers related to the personnel expenditures of the state's health care unit KRAGES from the state's accounts because these are pass-through items. We include the debt of KRAGES in our calculated of tax-supported debt. KRAGES will likely increase its debt over the next few years, and we no longer consider the entity to be self-supporting given the expected state government contributions to its investment program. We expect Burgenland to maintain a very comfortable liquidity position, reflecting its large cash reserves and its exceptional access to external liquidity. Austria's institutional framework and Burgenland's prudent financial management ensure stability of public finances The recent agreement between the Austrian central government, states, and municipalities on a new tax equalization scheme from 2017 to 2021 did not result in a major change to the public finance system. The volumes of central government transfers to lower tiers of government has slightly increased ( 300 million annually, plus 125 million in 2017 for migration-related expenses). The agreement is essentially an extension of the previous equalization system. Austrian states also have to comply with the Austrian Stability Pact, which aims at structurally balanced accounts for all tiers of government. While this does not necessarily lead to balanced accounts for individual states, it should effectively contain regional government deficit spending over the next few years. The extensive tax-sharing regime under which Austrian states operate has sheltered Burgenland from revenue-base volatility. The state benefits from central government transfers to a greater extent than its Austrian peers, partially due to its economic profile. While we view Burgenland's economy as strong compared globally, it is slightly weaker than the national average. The state has a much lower GDP per capita than the national average and a slightly higher share of the dependent population. Nevertheless, prudent financial management has enabled the state to post balanced budgets recently, even exceeding own financial plans. We view this as a strong indicator of conservative financial planning and tight expenditure control. Deficits, as currently predicted, are covered by accumulated reserves and are well in line with the state's general strategy of continuously reducing direct debt while retaining ample levels of liquidity. Reserves will cover deficits and the state hospital entity will increase tax-supported debt Our base case now incorporates slight deficits after capital accounts in 2016 and the next few years. These mainly relate to lower-than-anticipated central government transfers and the deliberate depletion of cash reserves, mainly accumulated as a result of recently budgetary surpluses. The state will also support KRAGES' APRIL 28,

4 investment activity in the latter years of our forecast horizon using earmarked reserves. This will enable Burgenland to keep slightly decreasing its direct debt stock while retaining most of its liquidity reserves, at least over the next two years. Accordingly, we still consider the budgetary performance of Burgenland to be a key rating strength. In the past, the state has benefitted a lot from solid shared-tax revenue growth. It has kept a tight rein on spending, enabling stringent budget execution. That said, we note the state's high dependence on shared taxes and central government transfers on the revenue side, which limits its budgetary flexibility. Burgenland's financial management will be able to continue reducing the stock of direct debt. Given Austrian states' obligation to have incurred no net new borrowing by 2016 under the stability pact, we anticipate that Burgenland will be able to continue solely using the Austrian Federal Financing Agency for its borrowing needs. We therefore do not expect Burgenland to directly tap capital markets in the foreseeable future. However, we now consider KRAGES' debt to be tax-supported debt for Burgenland and expect the entity's debt to rise in line with its current investment plan. As a result, Burgenland's stock of tax-supported debt will increase to 35% of consolidated operating revenues toward the end of our forecast horizon. Nevertheless, we also factor in our view of the state's large unfunded pension liabilities, which we estimate significantly exceed 50% of operating revenues. The state's debt service coverage is exceptional in a national and international comparison. This assessment also includes the state's very strong access to external liquidity. Free cash and liquid assets total more than 100% of expected debt service over the next 12 months. The state has also signed three liquidity lines with banks, totaling over 150 million. Daily cash holdings are generally very low because the state uses its access to the federal treasury for daily cash management, although the extraordinary payments received from GRAWE (Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung AG) in 2014 provide a temporary boost to holdings of cash and liquid assets before spending on investment projects. Because Burgenland's liquidity reserves are so high, we expect the state's debt service coverage to remain a key rating strength at least over the next two years, even after the partial disbursement of its liquidity reserves. Contingent liabilities remain sizable; guarantees, mainly to outsourced companies, are estimated at almost 90% of operating revenues in This is much lower than in 2015, when the same ratio was above 200% of operating revenues. This can be attributed to the fact that Burgenland has significantly reduced the amount of guarantees to Bank Burgenland over the past two years (they will have all but disappeared by year-end 2017). Overall, we consider the risk from outstanding guarantees to be limited because the respective entities and their operations are self-supporting and low-risk. Key Statistics APRIL 28,

5 Table 1 State of Burgenland Key Statistics --Fiscal year end Dec (Mil. ) bc 2017bc 2018bc 2019bc Operating revenues 1,151 1,168 1,017 1,101 1,128 1,161 Operating expenditures 991 1, ,014 1,041 1,069 Operating balance Operating balance (% of operating revenues) Capital revenues Capital expenditures Balance after capital accounts (22) (8) (13) (8) Balance after capital accounts (% of total revenues) (2.1) (0.7) (1.1) (0.7) Debt repaid Gross borrowings Balance after borrowings (24) (10) (15) (10) Modifiable revenues (% of operating revenues) Capital expenditures (% of total expenditures) Direct debt (outstanding at year-end) Direct debt (% of operating revenues) Tax-supported debt (outstanding at year-end) Tax-supported debt (% of consolidated operating revenues) Interest (% of operating revenues) Local GDP per capita (single units) 26,700 27,500 28,188 28,808 29,585 30,384 National GDP per capita (single units) 38,841 39,632 40,217 41,186 42,219 43,364 The data and ratios above result in part from S&P Global Ratings' own calculations, drawing on national as well as international sources, reflecting S&P Global Ratings' independent view on the timeliness, coverage, accuracy, credibility, and usability of available information. The main sources are the financial statements and budgets, as provided by the issuer. Base case reflects S&P Global Ratings' expectations of the most likely scenario. Downside case represents some but not all aspects of S&P Global Ratings' scenarios that could be consistent with a downgrade. Upside case represents some but not all aspects of S&P Global Ratings' scenarios that could be consistent with an upgrade. Ratings Score Snapshot APRIL 28,

6 Table 2 State of Burgenland Ratings Score Snapshot Key Rating Factors Institutional Framework Economy Financial Management Budgetary Flexibility Budgetary Performance Liquidity Debt Burden Contingent Liabilities Very predictable and well balanced Strong Strong Weak Very strong Exceptional Moderate Low *S&P Global Ratings bases its ratings on local and regional governments on the eight main rating factors listed in the table above. Section A of S&P Global Ratings' "Methodology For Rating Non-U.S. Local And Regional Governments," published on June 30, 2014, summarizes how the eight factors are combined to derive the rating. Key Sovereign Statistics Sovereign Risk Indicators, published April 10, An interactive version is available at Related Criteria And Research Related Criteria General Criteria: Methodology For Linking Long-Term And Short-Term Ratings - April 07, 2017 Criteria - Governments - International Public Finance: Methodology For Rating Non- U.S. Local And Regional Governments - June 30, 2014 Criteria - Governments - International Public Finance: Methodology And Assumptions For Analyzing The Liquidity Of Non-U.S. Local And Regional Governments And Related Entities And For Rating Their Commercial Paper Programs - October 15, 2009 General Criteria: Use Of CreditWatch And Outlooks - September 14, 2009 Related Research Research Update: Republic of Austria 'AA+/A-1+' Ratings Affirmed; Outlook Stable - March 17, 2017 Public Finance System Overview: Austrian States - February 27, 2017 Refinancing Needs Continue To Dominate German, Swiss, And Austrian Local And Regional Government Borrowing In February 23, 2017 International Public Finance Rating Trends: German, Austrian, And Swiss Local And Regional Governments - November 2, 2016 Default, Transition, and Recovery: 2015 Annual International Public Finance Default Study And Rating Transitions - June 30, 2016 Institutional Framework Assessments For Non-U.S. Local And Regional Governments - April 21, APRIL 28,

7 In accordance with our relevant policies and procedures, the Rating Committee was composed of analysts that are qualified to vote in the committee, with sufficient experience to convey the appropriate level of knowledge and understanding of the methodology applicable (see 'Related Criteria And Research'). At the onset of the committee, the chair confirmed that the information provided to the Rating Committee by the primary analyst had been distributed in a timely manner and was sufficient for Committee members to make an informed decision. After the primary analyst gave opening remarks and explained the recommendation, the Committee discussed key rating factors and critical issues in accordance with the relevant criteria. Qualitative and quantitative risk factors were considered and discussed, looking at track-record and forecasts. The committee agreed that the assessment of the debt burden had deteriorated. All other key rating factors were unchanged. The chair ensured every voting member was given the opportunity to articulate his/her opinion. The chair or designee reviewed the draft report to ensure consistency with the Committee decision. The views and the decision of the rating committee are summarized in the above rationale and outlook. The weighting of all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this rating action (see 'Related Criteria and Research'). Ratings List Rating To From Burgenland (State of) Issuer Credit Rating Foreign and Local Currency AA/Stable/A-1+ AA/Stable/A-1+ Certain terms used in this report, particularly certain adjectives used to express our view on rating relevant factors, have specific meanings ascribed to them in our criteria, and should therefore be read in conjunction with such criteria. Please see Ratings Criteria at for further information. Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect at and at spcapitaliq.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on S&P Global Ratings' public Web site at Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following S&P Global Ratings numbers: Client Support Europe (44) ; London Press Office (44) ; Paris (33) ; Frankfurt (49) ; Stockholm (46) ; or Moscow 7 (495) Additional Contact: International Public Finance Ratings Europe; APRIL 28,

8 Copyright 2017 by Standard & Poor s Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved. No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P). The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. S&P and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents (collectively S&P Parties) do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content. S&P Parties are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for the results obtained from the use of the Content, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an "as is" basis. S&P PARTIES DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT'S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages. Credit-related and other analyses, including ratings, and statements in the Content are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact. S&P's opinions, analyses, and rating acknowledgment decisions (described below) are not recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. S&P assumes no obligation to update the Content following publication in any form or format. The Content should not be relied on and is not a substitute for the skill, judgment and experience of the user, its management, employees, advisors and/or clients when making investment and other business decisions. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. To the extent that regulatory authorities allow a rating agency to acknowledge in one jurisdiction a rating issued in another jurisdiction for certain regulatory purposes, S&P reserves the right to assign, withdraw, or suspend such acknowledgement at any time and in its sole discretion. S&P Parties disclaim any duty whatsoever arising out of the assignment, withdrawal, or suspension of an acknowledgment as well as any liability for any damage alleged to have been suffered on account thereof. S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain nonpublic information received in connection with each analytical process. S&P may receive compensation for its ratings and certain analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge), and and (subscription) and (subscription) and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at STANDARD & POOR'S, S&P and RATINGSDIRECT are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. APRIL 28,

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