Stock Ratings Definitions by npu97223


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									      Standard & Poors
      Ratings Definitions
      Issue Credit Rating Definitions                    Long-term issue credit ratings
      A Standard & Poor’s issue credit rating is a       Issue credit ratings are based, in varying
      current opinion of the creditworthiness of an      degrees, on the following considerations:
                                                         s Likelihood of payment—capacity and will-
      obligor with respect to a specific financial
      obligation, a specific class of financial oblig-      ingness of the obligor to meet its financial
      ations, or a specific financial program               commitment on an obligation in accor-
      (including ratings on medium term note pro-           dance with the terms of the obligation;
                                                         s Nature of and provisions of the obligation;
      grams and commercial paper programs). It
                                                         s Protection afforded by, and relative posi-
      takes into consideration the creditworthiness
      of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of            tion of, the obligation in the event of
      credit enhancement on the obligation and              bankruptcy, reorganization, or other
      takes into account the currency in which the          arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy
      obligation is denominated. The issue credit           and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.
      rating is not a recommendation to purchase,           The issue rating definitions are expressed
      sell, or hold a financial obligation, inasmuch     in terms of default risk. As such, they per-
      as it does not comment as to market price or       tain to senior obligations of an entity. Junior
      suitability for a particular investor.             obligations are typically rated lower than
         Issue credit ratings are based on current       senior obligations, to reflect the lower prior-
      information furnished by the obligors or           ity in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such dif-
      obtained by Standard & Poor’s from other           ferentiation applies when an entity has both
      sources it considers reliable. Standard &          senior and subordinated obligations, secured
      Poor’s does not perform an audit in connec-        and unsecured obligations, or operating
      tion with any credit rating and may, on            company and holding company obligations.)
      occasion, rely on unaudited financial infor-       Accordingly, in the case of junior debt, the
      mation. Credit ratings may be changed, sus-        rating may not conform exactly with the cat-
      pended, or withdrawn as a result of changes        egory definition.
      in, or unavailability of, such information, or
      based on other circumstances.
                                                         An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest
         Issue credit ratings can be either long-term
                                                         rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s. The
      or short-term. Short-term ratings are general-
                                                         obligor’s capacity to meet its financial com-
      ly assigned to those obligations considered
                                                         mitment on the obligation is extremely
      short-term in the relevant market. In the U.S.,
      for example, that means obligations with an
      original maturity of no more than 365 days—        AA
      including commercial paper. Short-term rat-        An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the
      ings are also used to indicate the                 highest rated obligations only in small
      creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to     degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its
      put features on long-term obligations. The         financial commitment on the obligation is
      result is a dual rating, in which the short-term   very strong.
      rating addresses the put feature, in addition
      to the usual long-term rating. Medium-term
      notes are assigned long-term ratings.

254   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
A                                                 CCC
An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more          An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vul-
susceptible to the adverse effects of changes     nerable to nonpayment, and is dependent
in circumstances and economic conditions          upon favorable business, financial, and eco-
than obligations in higher rated categories.      nomic conditions for the obligor to meet its
However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its       financial commitment on the obligation. In
financial commitment on the obligation is         the event of adverse business, financial, or
still strong.                                     economic conditions, the obligor is not like-
                                                  ly to have the capacity to meet its financial
BBB                                               commitment on the obligation.
An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate
protection parameters. However, adverse           CC
economic conditions or changing circum-           An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly
stances are more likely to lead to a weak-        vulnerable to nonpayment.
ened capacity of the obligor to meet its
financial commitment on the obligation.           C
   Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’,      A subordinated debt or preferred stock
and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant        obligation rated ‘C’ is CURRENTLY HIGHLY
speculative characteristics. ’BB’ indicates the   VULNERABLE to nonpayment. The ‘C’ rat-
least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the high-     ing may be used to cover a situation where a
est. While such obligations will likely have      bankruptcy petition has been filed or similar
some quality and protective characteristics,      action taken, but payments on this obliga-
these may be outweighed by large uncertain-       tion are being continued. A ‘C’ also will be
ties or major exposures to adverse conditions.    assigned to a preferred stock issue in arrears
                                                  on dividends or sinking fund payments, but
BB                                                that is currently paying.
An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to
nonpayment than other speculative issues.         D
However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties     An obligation rated ‘D’ is in payment
or exposure to adverse business, financial, or    default. The ‘D’ rating category is used when
economic conditions which could lead to the       payments on an obligation are not made on
obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its         the date due even if the applicable grace
financial commitment on the obligation.           period has not expired, unless Standard &
                                                  Poor’s believes that such payments will be
B                                                 made during such grace period. The ‘D’ rat-
An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to     ing also will be used upon the filing of a
nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but       bankruptcy petition or the taking of a simi-
the obligor currently has the capacity to         lar action if payments on an obligation are
meet its financial commitment on the obliga-      jeopardized.
tion. Adverse business, financial, or econom-
ic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s    Plus (+) or minus (-)
capacity or willingness to meet its financial     The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be
commitment on the obligation.                     modified by the addition of a plus or minus
                                                  sign to show relative standing within the
                                                  major rating categories.

Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                   255

      r                                                   B
      This symbol is attached to the ratings of           A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded
      instruments with significant noncredit risks.       as having significant speculative characteris-
      It highlights risks to principal or volatility of   tics. The obligor currently has the capacity
      expected returns which are—not addressed            to meet its financial commitment on the
      in the credit rating. Examples include: oblig-      obligation; however, it faces major ongoing
      ations linked or indexed to equities, curren-       uncertainties which could lead to the oblig-
      cies, or commodities; obligations exposed to        or’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial
      severe prepayment risk—such as interest-            commitment on the obligation.
      only or principal-only mortgage securities;
      and obligations with unusually risky interest       C
      terms, such as inverse floaters.                    A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently
                                                          vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent
      N.R.                                                upon favorable business, financial, and eco-
      This indicates that no rating has been              nomic conditions for the obligor to meet its
      requested, that there is insufficient informa-      financial commitment on the obligation.
      tion on which to base a rating, or that
      Standard & Poor’s does not rate a particular        D
      obligation as a matter of policy.                   A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in pay-
                                                          ment default. The ‘D’ rating category is used
      Short-term issue credit ratings                     when payments on an obligation are not
      A-1                                                 made on the date due even if the applicable
      A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated        grace period has not expired, unless Stan-
      in the highest category by Standard &               dard & Poor’s believes that such payments
      Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its          will be made during such grace period. The
      financial commitment on the obligation is           ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of
      strong. Within this category, certain obliga-       a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a sim-
      tions are designated with a plus sign (+).          ilar action if payments on an obligation are
      This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to       jeopardized.
      meet its financial commitment on these
      obligations is extremely strong.                    Notes
      A-2                                                 A Standard & Poor’s note ratings reflects the
      A short-term obligation rated ‘A-2’ is some-        liquidity factors and market access risks
      what more susceptible to the adverse effects        unique to notes. Notes due in three years or
      of changes in circumstances and economic            less will likely receive a note rating. Notes
      conditions than obligations in higher rating        maturing beyond three years will most likely
      categories. However, the obligor’s capacity         receive a long-term debt rating. The follow-
      to meet its financial commitment on the             ing criteria will be used in making that
      obligation is satisfactory.                         assessment:
                                                          s Amortization schedule—the larger the final

      A-3                                                    maturity relative to other maturities, the
      A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits           more likely it will be treated as a note;
      adequate protection parameters. However,               and
      adverse economic conditions or changing             s Source of payment—the more dependent the

      circumstances are more likely to lead to a             issue is on the market for its refinancing,
      weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its           the more likely it will be treated as a note.
      financial commitment on the obligation.

256   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
Note rating symbols are as follows:               In determining a Rating Outlook, considera-
                                                  tion is given to any changes in the economic
SP-1                                              and/or fundamental business conditions. An
Strong capacity to pay principal and interest.    Outlook is not necessarily a precursor of a
An issue determined to possess a very strong      rating change or future CreditWatch action.
capacity to pay debt service is given a plus
                                                  Positive means that a rating may be raised.
(+) designation.
                                                  Negative means that a rating may be lowered.
SP-2                                              Stable means that a rating is not likely to
Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and        change.
interest, with some vulnerability to adverse
                                                  Developing means a rating may be raised or
financial and economic changes over the
term of the notes.
                                                  N.M. means not meaningful.
Speculative capacity to pay principal and         CreditWatch
                                                  CreditWatch highlights the potential direc-
                                                  tion of a short- or long-term rating. It focus-
Local Currency and                                es on identifiable events and short-term
Foreign Currency Risks                            trends that cause ratings to be placed under
Country risk considerations are a standard        special surveillance by Standard & Poor’s
part of Standard & Poor’s analysis for credit     analytical staff. These may include mergers,
ratings on any issuer or issue. Currency of       recapitalizations, voter referendums, regula-
repayment is a key factor in this analysis. An    tory action, or anticipated operating devel-
obligor’s capacity to repay foreign currency      opments. Ratings appear on CreditWatch
obligations may be lower than its capacity to     when such an event or a deviation from an
repay obligations in its local currency due to    expected trend occurs and additional infor-
the sovereign government’s own relatively         mation is necessary to evaluate the current
lower capacity to repay external versus           rating. A listing, however, does not mean a
domestic debt. These sovereign risk consid-       rating change is inevitable, and whenever
erations are incorporated in the debt ratings     possible, a range of alternative ratings will
assigned to specific issues. Foreign currency     be shown. CreditWatch is not intended to
issuer ratings are also distinguished from        include all ratings under review, and rating
local currency issuer ratings to identify those   changes may occur without the ratings hav-
instances where sovereign risks make them         ing first appeared on CreditWatch. The
different for the same issuer.                    “positive” designation means that a rating
                                                  may be raised; “negative” means a rating
                                                  may be lowered; and “developing” means
Rating Outlook Definitions
                                                  that a rating may be raised, lowered, or
A Standard & Poor’s Rating Outlook assess-        affirmed.
es the potential direction of a long-term cred-
it rating over the intermediate to longer term.

Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                      257
      Ratio Table Definitions
      Operating balance/operating revenues            Total public sector debt/population
      Annual operating surplus or deficit             The net tax-supported debt plus any other
      (operating revenue less operating               contingent liabilities (guaranteed debt,
      expenditure) divided by the government’s        pension liabilities, or debt of another
      annual operating revenues.                      governmental sector where a constitutional
                                                      obligation exists) divided by the most recent
      Overall surplus or deficit before debt          population figure.
      repayment/total revenues
      Annual surplus or deficit including both        Per capita income, per capita GDP, or
      operating and capital results before debt       per capita wages
      repayment, divided by the government’s          Standard & Poor’s gathered wealth informa-
      annual total revenues (operating and capital    tion according to what was available. We
      revenues, which does not include borrowings     first attempted to obtain per capita income
      or reserve movements).                          figures for the entity and the nation. If this
                                                      information was unavailable, we sought
      Debt service/operating revenues                 either per capita GDP or per capita wages.
      Annual debt repayment (interest and princi-
      pal) divided by the government’s operating      Unemployment rate
      revenues in the same year.                      The most recent official unemployment
                                                      figures as a percentage of the work force in
      Net tax-supported debt/operating revenues       this location.
      All debt supported by this government,
      including nonguaranteed enterprise debt         Employment by industry group
      and adjusted for self-supporting operations,    The percentage of workers employed by
      divided by the government’s annual operating    sector in the most recent year available.
                                                      Oper. bal.—Operating balance.

      Net tax-supported debt/population               Oper. rev.—Operating revenue.
      All debt supported by this government,
      including nonguaranteed enterprise debt and     Pop.—Population.
      adjusted for self-supporting operations,
      divided by the most recent population figure.

258   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
Information Requirements For
Regional And Local Governments
Standard & Poor’s information requirements          Economic Structure And
for rating a regional or local government
                                                    Growth Prospects
may be divided into five broad areas: inter-
governmental relations, administrative sys-         s   Demographic characteristics: historical
tems, economic structure and growth                     and projected figures for population size,
prospects, budgetary performance and fiscal             density, growth rate, and age distribution.
flexibility, and financial position and policies.   s   Infrastructure needs: transportation,
   Below is an outline of the basic informa-            schools, hospitals, housing, and basic utili-
tion needs related to each of these five                ties (e.g., water, waste, electric and gas).
analytical areas.                                   s   Structure of local economy in terms of
                                                        output and employment by economic
                                                        sector (e.g., agriculture, mining, manufac-
Intergovernmental Relations
                                                        turing, construction, private services, and
s   Service responsibilities of the region, dis-        government services).
    tinguishing mandatory from discretionary.       s   List of major employers, including 10
s   Taxing authority of the region, including           largest non-government employers. Infor-
    types of taxes and whether they are shared          mation on employment levels and trends
    with other levels of government.                    and investment plans.
s   Transfers to and from other levels of           s   Level and trends in per-capita or
    government, including the method of                 per-household income.
    determination and modification.                 s   Measures of growth and prosperity of the
s   Authority to borrow and for what                    local economy, including trends in
    purposes.                                           employment, unemployment, retail sales,
                                                        investment (construction, spending,
Administrative Systems                                  building permits, housing starts, etc.),
s   Legal limitations, if any, and procedures           manufacturing output, bankruptcies, new
    for debt issuance, tax increases, budget            business start-ups, and local prices (e.g.,
    approval, and making loans and                      real estate and consumer prices).
    investments.                                    s   Projections for major local economic
s   Division of responsibility between elected          indicators.
    officials and permanent civil servants.
s   Labor relations, including turnover rates,
    wage settlement process, status of major
    contracts, and history of labor disbutes.
s   Overview of budget forecasting and
    monitoring systems, including expenditure
    controls, revenue collection procedures,
    and cash management systems.

Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                       259

      Budgetary Performance And                           Financial Position And Policies
      Fiscal Flexibility                                  s   Overview of accounting practices and
      s   Revenue composition and trends, breaking            their impact on budget and financial
          out transfer receipts by type, own-source           statements.
          taxes by type, user charges and fees, and       s   Identification of significant reserve
          interest and dividend earnings.                     accounts and their use.
      s   Measure of local tax burden, its trends         s   Review of liquidity policies and cash
          over time, and comparisons to neighbor-             management system.
          ing local authorities.                          s   Historical and projected gross and net
      s   Composition of and trends in expenditure,           financing requirements, including
          including a breakdown between capital               borrowing for lending to third parties.
          and current spending. Also, the composi-        s   Debt of enterprises owned or supported
          tion of spending by functional category             by the local authority.
          (e.g., education, health, etc.) and by eco-     s   Overlapping debt of other governmental
          nomic category (e.g., wages, interest, etc.).       bodies sharing the same tax base.
      s   Analysis of budget variances in recent          s   Financial performance and projected
          years. Comparison of initial budget                 investment and borrowing plans of enter-
          projections with final results, highlighting        prises owned by the local authority.
          major sources of variance, if any.              s   Evaluation of significant contingent
      s   Recent and projected trends in the balance          liabilities, especially any related to
          on current operations.                              employee pension funds.
      s   Capital budget and projections, including
          composition and details on any major
          investment programs and projects.
          Financing of capital spending.

260   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
                               Sovereign Ratings List
                                                            —Local Currency—                       —Foreign Currency—
                                                     Long-Term             Short-Term       Long-Term               Short-Term
Standard & Poor’s              Sovereign             Rating     Outlook    Rating           Rating      Outlook     Rating
generally rates foreign and    Argentina             BBB-       Negative   A-3              BB          Negative    B
local currency-denominated
debt of sovereigns at their    Australia             AAA        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Stable      A-1+
request. Most other issuers    Austria               AAA        Stable     A-1+             AAA         Stable      A-1+
are rated no higher than
                               Barbados              AA-        Stable     A-1+             A-          Stable      A-2
the sovereign exercising
jurisdiction over them,        Belgium               AA+        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Stable      A-1+
reflecting each government’s   Bermuda               AA         Stable     A-1+             AA          Stable      A-1+
broad legal and regulatory
powers, including its          Bolivia               BB+        Stable     B                BB-         Stable      B
control over the domestic      Brazil                BB-        Stable     B                B+          Stable      B
financial system, and its
                               Bulgaria              B          Positive   B                B           Positive    B
ability to tax and to impose
foreign exchange controls.     Canada                AAA        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Stable      A-1+
When the debt of issuers is    Chile                 AA         Stable     A-1+             A-          Stable      A-1
rated higher than the
sovereign’s, this reflects     China                                                        BBB         Stable      A-3
both their stand-alone         Colombia              BBB+       Stable     A-2              BB+         Stable      B
credit characteristics and
                               Cook Islands          B-         Stable     C                B-          Stable      C
other factors mitigating
sovereign credit risk.         Costa Rica            BB+        Stable     B                BB          Stable      B
Ratings are as of              Croatia               BBB+       Negative   A-2              BBB-        Negative    A-3
January 28, 2000.
                               Cyprus                AA-        Stable     A-1+             A           Stable      A-1
                               Czech Republic        AA-        Stable     A-1+             A-          Stable      A-2
                               Denmark               AAA        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Positive    A-1+
                               Dominican Republic    SD                    SD               B+          Stable      C
                               Egypt                 A-         Stable     A-1              BBB-        Stable      A-3
                               El Salvador           BBB+       Stable     A-2              BB+         Stable      B
                               Estonia               A-         Stable     A-2              BBB+        Stable      A-2
                               Finland               AA+        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Stable      A-1+
                               France                AAA        Stable     A-1+             AAA         Stable      A-1+
                               Germany               AAA        Stable     A-1+             AAA         Stable      A-1+
                               Hellenic Republic     A-         Positive   A-1              A-          Positive    A-1
                               Hong Kong             A+         Stable     A-1              A           Stable      A-1
                               Hungary               A          Stable     A-1              BBB         Positive    A-3
                               Iceland               AA+        Stable     A-1+             A+          Positive    A-1+
                               India                 BBB        Stable     A-3              BB          Stable      B
                               Indonesia             B-         Watch Neg C                 CCC+        Watch Neg   C
                               Ireland               AA+        Stable     A-1+             AA+         Stable      A-1+
                               Israel                AA-        Stable     A-1+             A-          Stable      A-1
                               Italy                 AA         Stable     A-1+             AA          Stable      A-1+
                               Jamaica               B+         Stable                      B           Stable

                               Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                   261

                                      —Local Currency—                    —Foreign Currency—
                               Long-Term             Short-Term    Long-Term               Short-Term
      Sovereign                Rating     Outlook    Rating        Rating      Outlook     Rating
      Japan                    AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Jordan                   BBB-       Stable     A-3           BB-         Stable     B
      Kazakhstan               BB-        Stable     B             B+          Stable     B
      Korea                    A          Positive   A-1           BBB         Positive   A-3
      Kuwait                   A+         Stable     A-1+          A           Stable     A-1
      Latvia                   A-         Stable     A-2           BBB         Stable     A-3
      Lebanon                  BB         Negative   B             BB-         Negative   B
      Liechtenstein            AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Lithuania                BBB+       Stable     A-2           BBB-        Stable     A-3
      Luxembourg               AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Malaysia                 A          Stable     A-1           BBB         Stable     A-3
      Malta                    AA-        Negative   A-1+          A           Negative   A-1
      Mexico                   BBB+       Stable     A-2           BB          Positive   B
      Mongolia                 B          Stable                   B           Stable
      Morocco                  BBB        Stable     A-3           BB          Stable     B
      Netherlands              AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      New Zealand              AAA        Stable     A-1+          AA+         Negative   A-1+
      Norway                   AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Oman                     BBB        Stable     A-3           BBB-        Stable     A-3
      Pakistan                 B+         Stable     B             B-          Stable     B
      Panama                   BB+        Negative                 BB+         Negative   B
      Papua New Guinea         BB         Negative   B             B+          Negative   B
      Paraguay                 BB-        Negative   B             B           Negative   C
      Peru                     BBB-       Stable     A-3           BB          Stable     B
      Philippines              BBB+       Stable     A-2           BB+         Stable     B
      Poland                   A          Positive   A-1           BBB         Positive   A-3
      Portugal                 AA         Stable     A-1+          AA          Stable     A-1+
      Qatar                    BBB+       Stable     A-2           BBB         Stable     A-3
      Romania                  B          Negative   C             B-          Negative   C
      Russia                   CCC        Stable     C             SD                     SD
      Singapore                AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Slovak Republic          BBB+       Stable     A-2           BB+         Stable     B
      Slovenia                 AA         Stable     A-1+          A           Stable     A-1
      South Africa             BBB+       Stable     A-2           BB+         Stable     B
      Spain                    AA+        Stable     A-1+          AA+         Stable     A-1+
      Suriname                 B          Stable                   B-          Stable
      Sweden                   AAA        Stable     A-1+          AA+         Stable     A-1+
      Switzerland              AAA        Stable     A-1+          AAA         Stable     A-1+
      Taiwan                   AA+        Stable     A-1+          AA+         Stable     A-1+

262   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
                             —Local Currency—                       —Foreign Currency—
                      Long-Term             Short-Term       Long-Term               Short-Term
Sovereign             Rating     Outlook    Rating           Rating      Outlook     Rating
Thailand              A-         Stable     A-2              BBB-        Stable     A-3
Trinidad & Tobago     BBB+       Stable     A-2              BBB-        Stable     A-3
Tunisia               A          Stable     A-1              BBB-        Stable     A-3
Turkey                                                       B           Positive   B
United Kingdom        AAA        Stable     A-1+             AAA         Stable     A-1+
United States         AAA        Stable     A-1+             AAA         Stable     A-1+
Uruguay               BBB+       Stable     A-2              BBB-        Stable     A-3
Venezuela                                                    B           Stable     B

Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                   263
         Ratings List
         Issuer                                                       Local Currency      Foreign Currency

Europe   Austria
         Lower Austria (State of)                                     AA+/Stable/A-1+     AA+/Stable/A-1+
         Vienna (City of)*                                            AAA/Negative/A-1+   AAA/Negative/A-1+
         Tyrol (State of)*                                            AA+/Stable/A-1+     AA+/Stable/A-1+
         Upper Austria (State of)*                                    AAA/Stable/A-1+     AAA/Stable/A-1+
         Vorarlberg (State of)*                                       AAA/Stable/A-1+     AAA/Stable/A-1+
         Brussels-Capital (Region of)                                 AA/Stable/—         AA/Stable/—
         Flanders (Community of)                                      AA+/Stable/—        AA+/Stable/—
         Sofia (City of)                                              B/Positive/—        B/Positive/—
         Zagreb (City of)                                             BBB/Stable/—        BBB-/Negative/—
         Czech Republic
         Olomouc (City of)                                            A-/Stable/A-2       A-/Stable/A-2
         Ostrava (City of)                                            A-/Stable/A-2       A-/Stable/A-2
         Prague (City of)                                             A+/Stable/—         A-/Stable/—
         Copenhagen County Authority                                  —/—/—               AA+/Stable/—
         KommuneKredit                                                AAA/Stable/A-1+     AA+/Positive/A-1+
         Municipality Finance                                         AA+/Stable/A-1+     AA+/Stable/A-1+
         Local Government Pensions Institution                        AAA/Stable/—        AAA/Stable/—
         Boulogne-Billancourt (City of)                               AA/Stable/—         AA/Stable/—
         Communaute Urbaine de Lille                                  A-/Stable/—         A-/Stable/—
         Essonne (Department of)                                      AAA/Stable/—        AAA/Stable/—
         Haut-Rhin (Department of)                                    AA+/Stable/—        AA+/Stable/—
         Hauts de Seine (Department of)                               AA+/Stable/—        AA+/Stable/—
         Ile-de-France (Region of)                                    AAA/Stable/—        AAA/Stable/—
         Lorraine (Region of)                                         AA/Stable/—         AA/Stable/—
         Loiret (Department of)                                       AA+/Stable/—        AA+/Stable/—
         Marne (Department of)                                        AA+/Stable/—        AA+/Stable/—
         Meuse (Departement of)                                       A/Positive/—        A/Positive/—
         Nord-Pas-de-Calais (Region of)                               A+/Stable/—         A+/Stable/—

264      Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
              Issuer                                                       Local Currency    Foreign Currency

Europe        France (continued)
              Paris (City of)                                              AAA/Stable/—      AAA/Stable/—
              Reunion (Region of)                                          A-/Stable/—       A-/Stable/—
              Seine-et-Marne (Department of)                               AA-/Stable/—      AA-/Stable/—
              Sytral                                                       A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/—
              Tours (City of)                                              A-/Stable/—       A-/Stable/—
              Baden-Wuerttemberg (State of)                                AAA/Stable/A-1+   AAA/Stable/A-1+
              Bavaria (State of)                                           AAA/Stable/A-1+   AAA/Stable/A-1+
              Hesse (State of)                                             AAA/Stable/A-1+   AAA/Stable/A-1+
              Lower Saxony (State of)*                                     —/—/A-1+          —/—/A-1+
              North Rhine-Westphalia (State of)*                           AA+/Stable/A-1+   AA+/Stable/A-1+
              Rhineland Palatinate*                                        AA/Stable/A-1+    AA/Stable/A-1+
              Saxony (State of)*                                           AA/Stable/A-1+    AA/Stable/A-1+
              Saxony-Anhalt (State of)                                     AA-/Stable/A-1+   AA-/Stable/A-1+
              Schleswig-Holstein (State of)*                               —/—/A-1+          —/—/A-1+
              Amaroussion (Municipality of)                                BBB-/Stable/—     BBB-/Stable/—
              Bologna (City of)                                            AA/Stable/—       AA/Stable/—
              Emilia-Romagna (Region of)                                   AA-/Stable/—      AA-/Stable/—
              Florence (City of)                                           AA/Stable/—       AA/Stable/—
              Genoa (City of)                                              A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/—
              Jesi (City of)                                               BBB/Stable/—      BBB/Stable/—
              Lazio (Region of)                                            A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/—
              Lucca (City of )                                             A-/Stable/—       A-/Stable/—
              Milan (City of)                                              AA/Stable/—       AA/Stable/—
              Marche (Region of)                                           AA-Stable/-       AA-/Stable/
              Naples (City of)                                             A-/Stable/—       A-/Stable/—
              Rome (City of)                                               AA-/Stable/—      AA-/Stable/—
              Turin (City of)                                              AA-/Stable/—      AA-/Stable/—
              Valle d’Aosta (Region of)                                    AA/Stable/—       AA/Stable/—
              Venice (City of)                                             AA/Stable/—       AA/Stable/—
              Riga (City of)                                               BBB/Stable/A-3    BBB/Stable/A-3
              Oslo (City of)                                               AA+/Stable/—      AA+/Stable/—

              Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                       265
              RATINGS LIST

              Issuer                                                       Local Currency       Foreign Currency

Europe        Poland
(continued)   Krakow (City of)                                             BBB+/Stable/—        BBB/Positive/—
              Lodz (City of)                                               BBB-/Stable/—        BBB-/Stable/—
              Szczecin (City of)                                           BBB/Stable/—         BBB/Stable/—
              Wroclaw (City of)                                            BBB/Stable/—         BBB/Stable/—
              Irkutsk Oblast                                               —/—/—                CCC-/Stable/—
              Moscow (City of)                                             —/—/—                CCC-/Negative/—
              Rostov (Oblast)                                              —/—/—                CCC-/Stable/—
              Samara Oblast                                                —/—/—                CCC/Stable/—
              St. Petersburg (City of)                                     CCC/Stable/—         CCC/Stable/—
              Sverdlovsk (Region of)                                       CCC-/Stable/—        CCC-/Stable/—
              Tatarstan (Republic of)                                      —/—/—                SD/NM/—
              Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug                                —/—/—                CCC-/Negative/—
              Andalucia (Autonomous Community of)                          A+/Positive/—        A+/Positive/—
              Aragon (Autonomous Community of)                             AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/—
              Baleares Islands (Autonomous Community of)                   AA/Stable/—          AA/Stable/—
              Barcelona (City of)                                          AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/—
              Basque Country (Autonomous Community of)                     AA/Positive/—        AA/Positive/—
              Canary Islands (Autonomous Community of)                     AA/Stable/—          AA/Stable/—
              Catalonia (Autonomous Community of)                          AA-/Positive/—       AA-/Positive/—
              Galicia (Autonomous Community of)                            AA-/Stable/A-1+      AA-/Stable/A-1+
              Gran Canaria (Cabildo de)                                    AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/—
              Madrid (Autonomous Community of)                             AA-/Positive/A-1+    AA-/Positive/A-1+
              Navarre (Autonomous Community of)                            AA+/Stable/—         AA+/Positive/—
              Valencia (Autonomous Community)                              AA-/Positive /A-1+   AA-/Positive/A-1+
              Vizcaya (Historical Territory of)                            AA/Stable/A-1+       AA/Stable/A-1+
              Göteborg (City of)                                           AA-/Positive/A-1+    AA-/Positive/A-1+
              Helsingborg (City of)                                        AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/—
              Jönköping (Municipality of)                                  AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/—
              Norrköping (City of)                                         A/Stable/A-1         A/Stable/A-1
              Stockholm (City of)                                          AA+/Stable/A-1+      AA+/Stable/A-1+
              Stockholm (County Council of)                                AA+/Stable/—         AA+/Stable/—
              Strängnäs (Municipality of)                                  A+/Stable/—          A+/Stable/—
              Sundbyberg (City of)                                         A+/Stable/—          A+/Stable/—
              Täby (Municipality of)                                       AA+/Stable/—         AA+/Stable/—
              Uppsala (City of)                                            AA-/Stable/A-1+      AA-/Stable/A-1+
              Västerås (City of)                                           AA-/Stable/—         AA-/Stable/A-1+

266           Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
                Issuer                                                       Local Currency           Foreign Currency

Europe          Switzerland
(continued)     Zurich (Federal State of)                                    AAA/Stable/—             AAA/Stable/—
Asia/Pacific    Australia
                Australian Capital Territory (Gov. of)                       AAA/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                Brisbane City Council                                        AA+/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                New South Wales (State of)                                   AAA/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                Queensland (State of)                                        AAA/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                South Australia (State of)                                   AA+/Stable /A-1+         AA+/Stable/A-1+
                Tasmania (State of)                                          AA-/Stable/A-1+          AA-/Stable/A-1+
                Victoria (State of)                                          AAA/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                Western Australia (State of)                                 AAA/Stable/A-1+          AA+/Stable/A-1+
                New Zealand
                Auckland City Council                                        AA/Stable/A-1+           AA/Stable/A-1+
                Christchurch City Council                                    AA/Stable/A-1+           AA/Stable/A-1+
                Dunedin City Council                                         AA-/Stable/A-1+          AA-/Stable/
                Hutt City Council                                            AA-/Stable/A-1+          AA-/Stable/A-1+
                Wellington Regional Council                                  AA-/Stable/A-1+          AA-/Stable/A-1+
                Tokyo (Metropolis of) (Sovereign Guaranteed Debt Issue)      AAA                      AAA
                Seoul (Metropolitan City Government)                         BBB+/Stable/—            BB+/Stable/—
                Taegu (Metropolitan City Government)                         BBB+/Stable /—           BBB/Positive/—
Latin America   Argentina
                Buenos Aires (Province of)                                   —/—/—                    BB/Negative/—
                Buenos Aires (City of)                                       BB-/Stable/—             BB/Stable/—
                Mendoza (Province of)                                        BB-/Stable/—             BB-/Stable/—
                Misiones (Province of)*                                      raAA- (national scale)
                Bahia (State of)                                             —/—/—                    B+/Stable/—
                Ceara (State of)                                             —/—/—                    B+/Stable/—
                Rio de Janeiro (City of)                                     —/—/—                    B+/Stable/—
                Bogota (Capital District of Santa Fe De)                     BBB-/Negative/—          BB+/Negative/—
                Merida (City of)                                             mxA (national scale)
                Nuevo Leon                                                   mxBBB (national scale)
                *Structured transaction.

                Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                              267

         Issuer                                                       Local Currency    Foreign Currency

Canada   Canada
         Alberta (Province of)                                        AA+/Stable/—      AA+/Stable/A-1+
         British Columbia (Province of)                               AA-/Stable/—      AA-/StableA-1+
         Calgary (City of)                                            AA/Stable/A-1+    AA/Stable/A-1+
         Edmonton (City of)                                           AA/Stable/A-1+    AA/Stable/A-1+
         Manitoba (Province of)                                       AA-/Stable/—      AA-/Stable/A-1+
         Montréal (City of)                                           A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/—
         Montreal Urban Community                                     A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/—
         Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia              AA+/Stable/—      AA+/Stable/—
         New Brunswick (Province of)                                  AA-/Stable/A-1+   AA-/Stable/A-1+
         Newfoundland (Province of)                                   A-/Stable/A-2     A-/Stable/A-2
         Nova Scotia (Province of)                                    A-/Stable/—       A-/Stable/A-1
         Ontario (Province of)                                        AA-/Stable/A-1+   AA-/Stable/A-1+
         Québec (Province of)                                         A+/Stable/—       A+/Stable/A-1+
         Saskatchewan (Province of)                                   A/Stable/A-1      A/Stable/A-1
         Toronto (Municipality of Metropolitan)                       AA+/Stable/A-1+   AA+/Stable/A-1+
         Vancouver (City of)                                          AAA/Stable/—      AA+/Stable/—
         Winnipeg (City of)                                           AA-/Negative/—    AA-/Negative/—

268      Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
Customized Services
Standard & Poor’s Public Finance Ratings unit provides services that offer
an impressive range of valuable benefits, including reduced borrowing costs,
improved liquidity, easier loan syndication and enhanced business and
financial insight.

Ratings                                            addition, it helps a company’s management
Ratings on specific debt instruments or loans      understand how its credit standing affects its
are the most commonly requested service            strategic and financial options. Just as
offered by Standard & Poor’s. Recognized           important, an ICR can create instant identi-
and respected worldwide, Standard & Poor’s         fication for an issuer, particularly if the
ratings give issuers-even those in little-under-   issuer is not currently engaged in the public
stood or uncertain markets-a convenient,           capital markets, while establishing a rela-
reliable way to demonstrate credit quality to      tionship with Standard & Poor’s well ahead
a global audience of lenders, investors and        of any financing.
other interested parties.
   Ratings are developed through a collabo-        Credit Assessments
rative process involving a careful review of       Credit Assessments are preliminary indica-
both quantitative and qualitative business         tors of creditworthiness expressed in a broad
and financial factors, including competitive       rating category. They are not formal ratings.
situation, ownership, revenue and cash flow           Determined through a review of summary
projections, and legal and security structure.     information, Credit Assessments provide an
   Unlike some organizations, Standard &           evaluation of the general strengths and
Poor’s typically determines and publishes          weaknesses of a company or a proposed
ratings only with an issuer’s consent and          financing structure. In many situations, they
cooperation. This practice ensures that ana-       can serve as an effective first step toward a
lysts have ready access to the relevant public     fully developed Standard & Poor’s rating.
and proprietary information they need to              For example, Credit Assessments can play
reach an informed decision.                        a valuable screening role for governments
                                                   evaluating concession bids from different
Issuer Credit Ratings (ICRs)                       consortia. During the bid stage, they offer
An Issuer Credit Rating (ICR) provides the         valuable early insight into the financial via-
capital markets with a general evaluation of       bility of a proposed project. Likewise, gov-
an issuer’s overall credit quality, independent    ernments, utilities or project sponsors can
of any specific debt issue. By offering a clear,   use Credit Assessments to evaluate the cred-
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transactions, including loans, leases, letters        Consortia bidding for concessions can
of credit and counterparty agreements. In          also benefit from a Standard & Poor’s

Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                    269

      Credit Assessment. For example, a Credit         superior alternative to “best-guess” esti-
      Assessment can be used to demonstrate a          mates of the credit implications of potential
      consortium’s ability to optimize its debt        business ventures.
      financing plans through bank, agency or             Developed by the same analytical team
      capital markets.                                 and rating committee that would normally
                                                       assign ratings to an issuer’s existing or pro-
      Standard & Poor’s Underlying                     posed debt issues, rating outcomes deter-
                                                       mined through the Rating Evaluation Service
      Ratings (SPURs)
                                                       can play a valuable role in internal strategic
      Standard & Poor’s Underlying Ratings             and financial planning. In addition, they
      (SPURs) demonstrate an issue’s credit quali-     offer issuers a consistent, well-respected way
      ty on a stand-alone basis, independent of        to demonstrate the potential credit ramifica-
      any and all guarantees, such as those pro-       tions of important business or financial deci-
      vided by bond insurance and multilateral or      sions to investors, lenders, counterparties
      governmental agencies. They have become          and other key audiences.
      an essential part of a growing number of
      transactions, since banks and institutional
                                                       Learn More About
      lenders generally require an underlying eval-
      uation before purchasing debt backed by a        What We Can Do for You
      guarantee.                                       If you’re considering sponsoring, managing or
         A SPUR can provide issuers with the           financing infrastructure investments anywhere
      leverage they need to negotiate more favor-      in the world, one of the most important first
      able terms with the guarantor than might         steps you can take is to contact Standard &
      otherwise be possible. Moreover, a SPUR          Poor’s Public Finance Ratings unit.
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      in the decision about whether or not to          liminary assessments of particular organiza-
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         SPURs are determined through the same            However you work with us, you’ll find
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      facilitate loan syndication or enhance liquid-   processes. In fact, our “open door” policy
      ity in the secondary market.                     remains the foundation of Standard &
                                                       Poor’s leading reputation for thoroughness,
      Rating Evaluation Service                        impartiality and consistency.
                                                          Once you speak with us, you’ll understand
      Standard & Poor’s Rating Evaluation Service
                                                       why no organization provides more insight
      provides a formal determination of the cred-
                                                       into more types of infrastructure financings
      it impact of business, strategic or funding
                                                       worldwide than Standard & Poor’s.
      initiatives under consideration by govern-
      ments or organizations. It offers issuers a

270   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000
                         Local and Regional Government
                         Ratings Key Contacts
Vladimir Stadnyk         Europe                                                   Asia/Pacific
Executive Managing       Monica Richter                       (44) 171-826-3643   Paul Coughlin                         (852) 2533-3502
Director                 Director, London               (fax) (44) 171-826-3693   Managing Director, Hong Kong    (fax) (852) 2533-3599
Public Finance Ratings
                         Rafaele Carnevale                                        Brendan Flynn
Todd Whitestone          Associate, Paris                     (33) 1-4420-6698    Associate, Melbourne                 (61) 3-9631-2042
Managing Director        Milan                                 (39) 02-72-1111
                                                                                  Christopher Irwin
New York
                         Bram Cartmell                                            Director, Hong Kong                   (852) 2533-3506
Global Practice Leader
                         Rating Specialist, London           (44) 171-826-3547
Public Sector Ratings                                                             Mark Legge
(1) 212-438-2113         Alexandra Dimitrijevic                                   Associate Director, Melbourne        (61) 3-9631-2041
(1) 212-438-2127 (fax)   Associate Director, Paris            (33) 1-4420-6663    Rick Shepherd
                         Myriam Fernandez de Heredia                              Director, Melbourne                  (61) 3-9631-2040
                         Associate Director, Madrid           (34) 91-389-6942    YaPing Shi
                         Steffen Kram                                             Associate, Hong Kong                  (852) 2533-3500
                         Rating Specialist, Frankfurt        (49) 69-1387-0949
                                                                                  Latin America
                         Craig MacDonald
                         Associate Director, London          (44) 171-826-3527    Jane Eddy                             (1) 212-438-7996
                                                                                  Managing Director, New York     (fax) (1) 212-438-2127
                         Jonathan Manley
                         Associate, London                   (44) 171-826-3647    Arthur Dial
                                                                                  Director, New York                   (1) 212-438-7991
                         Anna-Carin Mansson
                         Rating Specialist, Stockholm          (46) 8-440-5938    Malachy Fallon
                                                                                  Director, Dallas                     (1) 214-871-1402
                         Maria Jose Mori
                         Rating Analyst, Madrid               (34) 91-389-6942    Alex Fraser
                                                                                  Director, Dallas                     (1) 214-871-1406
                         Elena Okorotchenka
                         Associate, London                   (44) 171-826-3525    Christopher Loop
                                                                                  Associate Director, Boston           (1) 617-371-0303
                         Susan Riska
                         Associate Director, London          (44) 171-826-3826    Daniel Stone
                                                                                  Director, San Francisco              (1) 415-371-5061
                         Robert Robinson
                         Associate, London                   (44) 171-826-3824    Sebastian Briozzo
                                                                                  Associate, Buenos Aires             (54) 11-4891-2122
                         Anders Sars
                         Associate, Stockholm                  (46) 8-440-5919    Canada
                         Carol Sirou                                              Valerie Blair
                         Director, Paris                      (33) 1-4420-6662    Director, Toronto                    (1) 416-364-8580
                         Kersti Talving                                           Stephen Dafoe
                         Associate, Stockholm                  (46) 8-440-5935    Director, Toronto                    (1) 416-364-8580

                         Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000                                                  271

      United States                                          United States (continued)
      Steven Murphy                       (1) 212-438-2066   Karl Jacob
      Managing Director, New York   (fax) (1) 212-438-2131   Director, Boston            (1) 617-371-0306
      Martin Arrick                                          Rich Marino
      Director, New York                 (1) 212-438-7963    Director, New York          (1) 212-438-2058
      Diane Brosen                                           Jeff Panger
      Director, New York                 (1) 212-438-7973    Director, New York          (1) 212-438-2076
      Malachy Fallon                                         Robin Prunty
      Director, Dallas                   (1) 214-871-1402    Director, New York          (1) 212-438-2081
      Michael Forrester                                      Daniel Stone
      Director, New York                 (1) 212-438-2001    Director, San Francisco     (1) 415-371-5016
      Alex Fraser                                            Jeff Thiemann
      Director, Dallas                   (1) 214-871-1406    Director, San Francisco     (1) 415-371-5006
      Kenneth Gear                                           Colleen Woodell
      Director, New York                 (1) 212-438-2006    Director, New York          (1) 212-438-2118
      David Hitchcock                                        Parry Young
      Director, New York                 (1) 212-438-2022    Director, New York          (1) 212-438-2120
      Alice Hammer
      Director, Chicago                  (1) 312-669-9168

272   Standard & Poor’s LOCAL & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT | March 2000

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