What Is Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)
Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings (SPURs) provide an opinion on a municipality's credit quality separate of guarantor or insurer credit enhancements. Municipal or other public sector bonds typically include credit enhancement which is used to obtain better terms by providing increased assurance that the borrower will honor its obligation through additional insurance or a third-party guarantee. Standard & Poor's issues a SPURS rating only at the request of the issuer/obligor and maintains surveillance of an issue with a published SPUR.
Understanding Standard & Poor's Underlying Rating (SPURs)
Standard & Poor's Underlying Ratings (SPURs) involve the same level of analytical review by Standard & Poor's as issue ratings, are identified by the 'SPUR' designation and use S&P's standard rating scales. By contrast, S&P's issue credit ratings include the creditworthiness of any guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement, as well as the currency the obligation is denominated in.
A municipality may request a SPURs rating in order to demonstrate creditworthiness as an issuer and help attract investors.