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WakeMed gingerly resumes bond sales

Raleigh News & Observer, January 29, 2009

Raleigh, NC-based health system WakeMed expects to sell as much as $175 million in tax-free bonds this week, a step that suggests a slight thawing of the credit market. WakeMed, however, had to jump through additional hoops to get the sale done, including paying higher interest rates and hiring bond-research agencies to rate its fiscal health. WakeMed delayed the bond sale in fall 2007, when financial turmoil disrupted credit markets and brought such sales to a halt. Now hospital officials think its solid credit rating and history will attract bond investors who have been reluctant to take risks.