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Rating Action:

MOODY'S PLACES THE CREDIT RATINGS OF SIGNET BANKING CORP. (Baa1) AND SUBSIDIARIES UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE AND CONFIRMS RATINGS OF FIRST UNION (A1) AND SUBSIDIARIES

21 Jul 1997
New York, 07-21-97 -- Moody's Investors Service placed the ratings of Signet Banking Corporation (Baa1) and subsidiaries under review for possible upgrade. In a related action, Moody's Investors Service confirmed the credit ratings of First Union (A1) and subsidiaries. The rating actions followed the announcement that First Union (FTU) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Signet Banking Corporation (SBK). The acquisition will be accounted for as a pooling of interest, and is valued at approximately $3.25 billion. It is expected to close at year-end 1997.
Moody's confirmed FTU's ratings on the belief that its proposed acquisition of SBK should not increase FTU's risk profile. The acquisition will boost FTU's presence in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC primarily in retail banking products, business lines that FTU manages well and efficiently. The acquisition gives FTU the potential to obtain further efficiency gains; the financing of the acquisition with stock also enhances FTU's risk profile.
Moody's stated that SBK's risk profile could be considerably raised by being part of a larger well-managed FTU that can provide systems, as well as managerial and financial support. The review will focus on the progress of the consummation of the acquisition and the legal structure of the company after the acquisition.
The following ratings were confirmed.
First Union Corporation -- A1 for senior long-term debt; A2 for subordinated long-term debt; "a1" for preferred stock; and Prime-1 for commercial paper.
First Fidelity Bancorporation -- (P)A1 for senior long-term debt; A2 for subordinated long-term debt; and "a1" for preferred stock.
First Union Capital I -- "a1" for preferred stock
First Union Capital II -- "a1" for preferred stock.
First Union Capital III -- "a1" for preferred stock.
. First Fidelity, Inc. -- A2 for subordinated long-term debt.
First Union National Bank of GA -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and C+ bank financial strength rating; Aa3 for senior long-term debt; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Nat'l Bank of SC -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and C bank financial strength rating; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Nat'l Bk of TN -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and C+ bank financial strength rating; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Corp. of VA -- A2 for subordinated long-term debt.
First Union Nat'l Bk of WA, D.C. -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Nat'l Bank of MD -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Nat'l Bank of VA -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and C+ bank financial strength rating; Aa3 for senior long-term debt; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Institutional Trust I -- "a1" for preferred stock.
First Union Corporation of FL -- A2 for subordinated long-term debt.
First Union Nat'l Bk of FL -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and B bank financial strength rating; Aa3 for senior long-term debt; A1 for subordinated long-term debt; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union National Bank -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and B bank financial strength rating; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
First Union Nat'l Bank of NC -- Aa3 for long-term deposits, Prime-1 for short-term deposits; and B+ bank financial strength rating; Aa3 for senior long-term debt; A1 for subordinated long-term debt; and Aa3 for counterparty obligations.
The following ratings were placed on review for possible upgrade.
Signet Banking Corporation -- (P)Baa1 for senior long-term debt; and Baa2 for subordinated long-term debt.
Signet Bank -- A3 for long-term deposits, Prime-2 for short-term deposits; C bank financial strength rating; A3 for senior long-term debt; Baa1 for subordinated long-term debt; and A3 for counterparty obligations.
FTU's headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its assets were $143 billion at June 30, 1997. SBK headquarters is in Richmond, Virginia. Its assets were $12 billion at June 30, 1997.

MOODY'S PLACES THE CREDIT RATINGS OF SIGNET BANKING CORP. (Baa1) AND SUBSIDIARIES UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE AND CONFIRMS RATINGS OF FIRST UNION (A1) AND SUBSIDIARIES
No Related Data.
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