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21 Nov 2002
MOODY'S AFFIRMS GE CAPITAL'S Aaa RATING
New York, November 21, 2002 -- Moody's Investors Service affirmed the Aaa rating of General Electric Capital Corporation and its affiliates following the announcement by General Electric Company of a number of initiatives to strengthen GE Capital's balance sheet. Moody's believes that these actions, together with earlier steps taken by GE regarding GE Capital's liquidity profile and organizational structure, highlight a positive change in the risk governance of the firm. The outlook for the Aaa rating remains stable.
Moody's said that the completion of the latest steps outlined by GE would serve to further solidify the credit strength of GE Capital. In Moody's opinion, a more appropriately capitalized GE Capital would provide multiple benefits to bondholders. First, it places more equity at GE Capital, which provides greater cushion for the bondholders at that level. Second, it provides greater transparency into the performance and returns on capital that each of GE Capital's businesses generates, allowing a greater degree of financial analysis. Finally, the increased transparency would also provide further discipline to the pace and permanence of the reduction to the capital shortfall at GE Capital, as well as provide further discipline to the capital allocation decisions made by the company.
The latest series of initiatives directly addresses a concern that Moody's has had for some time - that GE Capital is under-capitalized on a stand-alone basis. Moody's analysis of GE Capital has therefore increasingly relied upon the implicit and explicit support of GE. Moody's evaluates the level of GE Capital's under-capitalization relative to the resources available at GE, and believes that this has been stretched - a factor that has placed stress on the rating. However, placing more equity at the GE Capital level, combined with GE's commitment to retaining a greater portion of its earnings and cash flow, should reduce the stress attributed to this issue over time. Moody's also noted that the additional capital being infused by GE into GE Global Insurance and Employers Reinsurance has been factored into its analysis. GE's support of GE Capital will continue to be a very important rating factor for Moody's.
The rating agency also said it views positively the other changes that have been made in 2002 at GE Capital, including the improvement in its liquidity profile. The firm has reduced its sizeable commercial paper balances substantially, lengthened its CP maturity, and greatly increased its sources of alternate liquidity. Additionally, Moody's believes the previously announced organizational restructuring of GE Capital is a credit positive because it deepens the link between GE and GE Capital by bringing GE's oversight more directly into GE Capital's businesses.
General Electric Capital Corporation, based in Stamford, Connecticut is a leading provider of financial services and insurance products worldwide. At September 28, 2002, the company reported total assets of $425 billion, and for the first nine months of 2002, reported net income of $3.9 billion.
No Related Data.
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