Standard & Poor's Corp. said Monday that municipal rating downgrades exceeded upgrades in the second quarter of 1993, with 69 downgrades totaling $2.3 billion and 40 upgrades totaling $1.4 billion.
The housing sector dominated the downgrades, accounting for 34 of the total number of ratings lowered by the rating agency in April, May, and June. The sector also saw the largest dollar volume of downgrades, at $1.2 billion.
General obligation issuers had the second highest number of issues downgraded, at 19, Standard & Poor's said in this week's issue of CreditWeek Municipal. Those downgrades amounted to $100 million, compared with $500 million each in the health-care and transportation sectors, where 12 and two issues were lowered, respectively.
Downgrades exceeded upgrades in every sector except municipal utilities, which saw $500 million in bond ratings raised compared to less than $50 million lowered. There were seven upgrades and two downgrades among utilities in the second quarter, the rating agency said.
The lease-backed and special tax areas were the only sectors that did not experience upgrades or downgrades.
Standard & Poor's said it plans to publish on July 12 a comprehensive list of specific issues upgraded and downgraded during the second quarter.