Fitch gives Alaska bonds highest rating

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Fitch has upgraded more than $575 million in Alaska general obligation bonds.

The ratings service has assigned the bonds its highest AAA rating, up from AA plus.

Fitch bases its rating on Alaska setting aside very large reserves in its general fund to meet the state's operating needs.

Fitch says state revenues have grown sizably since fiscal 2009 with the increase in petroleum prices, which has led to sizeable increases in the state's various reserve funds. It says Alaska has used recent windfalls from high oil prices to repay past draws on the Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund, and remains committed to maintaining sizeable reserves.

Nearly $12 million in school construction bonds and more than $153 million in general obligation bonds go on sale next week.