MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF WESTPAC BANKING CORP. (SENIOR AT A1) AND ST.GEORGE BANK LIMITED (SENIOR AT Baa1) AND PLACES RATINGS OF CHALLENGE BANK LIMITED (SENIOR AT Baa2) UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE
New York, 07-28-95 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the debt ratings of Westpac Banking Corporation (senior at A1) and St.George Bank (senior at Baa1), and placed the long and short-term ratings of Challenge Bank (Baa2/Prime-2) under review for possible upgrade. The rating actions are in response to Westpac's unsolicitated offer for Challenge Bank, following an agreement between St.George Bank and Challenge Bank to merge. Moody's said that, regardless of the outcome of the situtation, it would expect to maintain its current ratings on Westpac and St.George Bank. The acquisition of Challenge Bank by either Westpac or St.George could put upward pressure on Challenge Bank's ratings, however.
Westpac Banking Corporation -- A1 for senior debt; A2 for subordinated debt; A1 for counterparty obligations; Prime-1 rating of the bank for commercial paper; A1 rating of the bank for long-term deposits; and Prime-1 rating of the bank for short-term deposits.
Westpac Capital Corp -- Prime-1 rating of the corporation for commercial paper.
Westpac Banking Corporation (Paris Branch) -- A1 rating of the bank's branch for long-term deposits; and Prime-1 rating of the bank's branch for short-term deposits.
St.George Bank Limited -- Baa1 for senior debt; Baa2 for subordinated debt; Baa1 for counterparty; Baa1 rating of the bank for long-term deposits; and Prime-2 rating of the bank for short-term deposits.
Ratings put under review for possible upgrade are the following:
Challenge Bank Limited -- Baa2 rating of the bank for long-term deposits, and the Prime-2 rating of the bank for short-term deposits.
Westpac Banking Corporation is headquartered in Sydney with assets of A$98 billion (US$71 billion); St.George Bank is headquartered in Sydney with asssts of A$17 billion (US$12 billion); Challenge Bank is headquartered in Perth with assets of A$5 billion (US$3.6 billion).
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