MOODY'S CONFIRMS RATINGS OF WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES (SENIOR AT Aa3)
New York, 04-18-96 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the debt ratings of Westpac Banking Corporation (senior at Aa3) and its subsidiaries, including Challenge Bank Limited. The confirmation follows the announcement that Westpac signed a definitive agreement to acquire Trust Bank of New Zealand for A$1.3 billion, which will be financed with 80% debt and 20% stock, resulting in lower capital ratios for Westpac.
The confirmation is based on Moody's belief that the acquisition allow Westpac to leverage off its operational and technological bases to improve its standing and efficiency in delivering retail products in New Zealand. Moody's rating of Westpac obligations had already incorporated the possibility that Westpac would bring its capital ratios closer to those of the other major Australian banks.
Ratings confirmed are:
Westpac Banking Corporation -- Aa3 for senior debt, A1 for subordinated debt; Aa3 rating of the bank for long-term deposits; Aa3 rating of the bank for counterparty obligations; Prime-1 rating of the bank for commercial paper; Prime-1 rating of the bank for short-term deposits; and the bank's financial strength rating of B.
Challenge Bank Limited -- Aa3 rating of the bank for long-term deposits; Prime-1 rating of the bank for short-term deposits; and the bank's financial strength rating of C+.
Westpac Capital Corporation -- Prime-1 rating of the company for commercial paper.
Westpac headquarters is in Sydney, Australia, and as of September 30, 1995, its total assets were A$106 billion (approximately US$74 billion).
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