Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld and four other state officials will continue logging frequent flyer miles next week when they head to New York City to meet with rating agency officials about the state's general obligation debt.
After spending this week in Houston at the Republican National Convention, the officials will return to Massachusetts business Monday and Tuesday to talk to officials from all three major rating agencies. Treasurer Joseph P. Malone, Assistant Treasurer Thomas P. Trimarco, Secretary of Administration and Finance Peter Nessen, and Lieutenant Gov. Paul Cellucci will begin meeting with rating agency officials Monday, according to a spokeswoman for the treasurer's office. Gov. Weld will join the group Tuesday, she added.
Claire G. Cohen, executive vice president at Fitch Investors Service, said the state has "exhibited certain signs of fiscal stability." However, she did not guarantee a rating change for the commonwealth.
"We have Massachusetts rated A," Ms. Cohen said. "We consider this rating to be somewhat far-reaching and appropriate."
George W. Leung, vice president and managing director at Moody's Investors Service, said the meeting with Massachusetts officials is part of the agency's continuing review.
"As with most states, Massachusetts has been under a fairly constant state of review," Mr. Leung said. "However, we now have the fiscal year 1993 plan to use as another reference."
Mr. Leung said a rating change would depend partly on "the spirit of cooperation shown between the executive and administrative branches of the state government."
The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts legislature and Republican Gov. Weld recently completed their fiscal 1993 budget, which is the state's third consecutive balanced budget.
Mr. Leung said the agency's review will focus only in part on Wang Laboratories' filing this week for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Wang is the biggest employer and taxpayer in Lowell, Mass.
Moody's currently rates Massachusetts GOs Baa, which Mr. Leung attributes to the state's management, debt support, and finances, and the general state of its economy.
Standard & Poor's Corp., which rates the commonwealth BBB, placed Massachusetts on CreditWatch with positive implications on June 8. Officials at the agency were unavailable for comment.