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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

S&P: Hosting Olympics May Hurt City's Rating

APWimbledon champion Maria Sharapova is the Russian ambassador for the 2012 bid.
LONDON -- A successful bid to stage the 2012 Olympic Games would not overstretch London, New York or Paris, Standard & Poor's said Thursday.

But a winning bid by Moscow or Madrid, the other two cities in the race, could put pressure on their budgets, according to the credit rating agency.

The five cities' bids were analyzed in the S&P report: "The Cost of Olympic Gold: the Credit Effect of Hosting the 2012 Olympics."

The winning bid will be announced at the International Olympic Committee session in Singapore on July 6.

In the report released Thursday, S&P assessed each city's financial bid and its potential impact on the city's budget and debt profile.

"All five candidate cities are key financial or commercial cities in their countries, and enjoy diverse and well-developed economies, with access to funding that is capable of absorbing Olympic investment plans," S&P's Susan Riska said. "That said, London, Paris, and New York should be able to cope with investment plans more comfortably than the others."

London has the largest Olympic-related capital budget at $15.8 billion, S&P said, toward which the Greater London Authority will contribute a relatively small part. As the GLA does not plan to raise debt for the Olympics, but instead is prepared to increase a specific local tax, its rating should not be affected by the Olympic bid, the report said.

New York plans an Olympic-related capital budget of $7.6 billion. The funding sources have not been identified, but funding is likely to be shared between several public bodies and involve the private sector.

As only a portion of the cost is likely to be financed through tax-supported debt, pressure on the rating is unlikely.

Similarly, Paris is committed not to raise taxes to meet its $2.2 billion contribution to a $6.2 billion Olympic-related capital budget. Given Paris' low debt, this should be easily absorbed without affecting its ratings, S&P said.

Madrid's Olympic capital budget is the smallest, at $1.6 billion, of which the city will only contribute one-third.

The report said while Moscow has not yet identified other funding sources for its planned investment of $10.1 billion, the city could potentially fund a big portion through debt. This burden would be high compared with Moscow's peers at the same rating level but should be manageable, S&P concluded.

Last year's Olympic Games in Athens cost nearly 9 billion euros ($11.5 billion), almost double the amount forecast a year before the opening ceremony.

The Greek state paid the lion's share of the bill, or about 7.2 billion euros.

The Athens Games costs far more than their 2000 predecessor in Sydney, Australia where spending ran $140 million over the budgeted $2.6 billion.