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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF FLEET FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. AND BANKBOSTON CORPORATION (BOTH SENIOR AT A2); CHANGES OUTLOOK ON BANKBOSTON TO STABLE

15 Mar 1999
MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF FLEET FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. AND BANKBOSTON CORPORATION (BOTH SENIOR AT A2); CHANGES OUTLOOK ON BANKBOSTON TO STABLE Moody's Investors Service today confirmed the ratings of Fleet Financial Group, Inc., BankBoston Corporation, and their subsidiaries following the announcement that the two companies have agreed to a merger. The rating agency also changed the ratings outlook for BankBoston to stable from negative. The ratings outlook for Fleet remains stable.

Moody's said the ratings action reflects the increased product diversification at both institutions, the reduced reliance on credit cards at Fleet, and the reduced reliance on wholesale operations and Latin America at BankBoston. If completed, the merger will give the combined entity a dominant retail banking franchise in southern New England. However, this will come at the cost of meaningful divestitures, which will reduce the earnings benefits expected from the combined entity.

The proposed transaction is conservatively structured, the rating agency said, and will be funded with the issuance of common equity and accounted for as a pooling of interest; it is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 1999. The transaction is expected to result in sizable operating efficiencies, Moody's noted, boosting the combined companies core earnings and internal capital generation. However, because of the significant divestitures expected, the combination offers fewer expense reduction opportunities than is typically found with in-market mergers. The rating agency also noted that the managerial and integration issues involved in combining two sizable stand-alone institutions can be considerable.

In addition to its regional and Latin American franchises, the combined company will have significant operations in a number of different national businesses, including wholesale banking, commercial finance, credit cards, mortgage banking, securities brokerage and asset management. The rating agency said its ratings focus will be on the earnings drivers for the combined entity, and on what market position the company will hold in those lines of business where management chooses to focus its strategic efforts.

The following ratings were confirmed:

Fleet Financial Group, Inc. -- A2 for senior long-term debt; A3 for subordinated long-term debt; A3 for junior subordinated debt; A2 for issuer rating; P-1 for commercial paper; "a2" for preferred stock; "a2" for cumulative preferred stock; "a3" for non-cumulative preferred stock; (P)A2 for senior unsecured shelf; (P)A3 for subordinate shelf; (P)A3 for junior subordinated shelf; (P) "a2" for cumulative preferred shelf; and (P) "a3" for non-cumulative preferred shelf.

Fleet Bank of Maine -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A1 for issuer rating; and C for bank financial strength.

Fleet Bank, National Assoc. -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A2 for subordinated long-term debt; A1 for issuer rating; and C+ for bank financial strength.

Fleet Bank -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A1 for issuer rating; and C+ for bank financial strength.

Fleet Bank-NH -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A1 for issuer rating; and C for bank financial strength.

Fleet National Bank -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A2 for subordinated long-term debt; A1 for issuer rating; and C+ for bank financial strength.

Fleet Bank (R.I.), N.A. -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for issuer rating; and D+ for bank financial strength.

Fleet Credit Card LLC -- A1 for senior long-term debt; and A1 for subordinated long-term debt.

Fleet Mortgage Group, Inc. -- A2 for senior long-term debt; and A3 for issuer rating.

Shawmut National Corporation -- (P)A2 for senior long-term debt; and A3 for subordinated long-term debt (debt assumed by Fleet Financial Group).

Sanwa Business Credit Corporation -- A1 for senior long-term debt; A1 for senior unsecured debt; P-1 for backed commercial paper and other short-term obligations.

Hartford National Corp. -- A3 for subordinated long-term debt (debt assumed by Fleet Financial Group).

Fleet Capital Trust I -- "a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust II -- "a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust III -- "a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust IV -- "a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust V -- "a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust VI -- (P)"a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust VII -- (P)"a2" for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust VIII -- (P)"a2" for preferred stock.



BankBoston Corporation -- A2 for senior long-term debt; A3 for subordinated long-term debt; A3 for junior subordinated debt; "a2" for preferred stock; (P)A2 for senior unsecured shelf; (P)A3 for subordinate shelf; (P) "a2" for cumulative preferred shelf; (P) "a3" for non-cumulative preferred shelf; and P-1 for commercial paper.

BankBoston N.A. -- A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; P-1 on the bank for short-term deposits; A1 for senior long-term debt; A2 for subordinated long-term debt; and C+ for bank financial strength.

BankBoston Banco Multiplo S.A. -- Caa1 on the bank for long-term deposits; NP on the bank for short-term deposits; B2 for senior long-term debt; B2 for subordinated long-term debt; and C for bank financial strength.

BankBoston, N.A. (Argentina) -- B1 on the bank for long-term deposits; and NP on the bank for short-term deposits.

BankBoston, N.A. (Brazil) -- Caa1 on the bank for long-term deposits; and NP on the bank for short-term deposits.

BankBoston, N.A. (Chile) -- Baa1 on the bank for long-term deposits; and P-2 on the bank for short-term deposits.

BankBoston Capital Trust I -- "a2" for preferred stock.

BankBoston Capital Trust II -- "a2" for preferred stock.

BankBoston Capital Trust III -- "a2" for preferred stock.

BankBoston Capital Trust IV -- "a2" for preferred stock.


Fleet Financial Group, Inc. and BankBoston Corporation, both headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, had total assets of $104 billion and $73.5 billion, respectively, at December 31, 1998. The combined company will be named Fleet Boston Corporation and will rank as the eighth largest bank holding company in the United States.

No Related Data.
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