The California State Teachers Retirement System took its first step into the municipal credit enhancement arena last week, providing a $25 minion line of credit backing the Port of Long Beach's new commercial paper program.

The Long Beach deal is only the second municipal transaction backed by a pension fund, rating agency officials said. In June 1992, the Port of Portland sold a $50 million special revenue bond issue that was backed by a guarantee from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System.

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