MOODY´S UPGRADES HALIFAX PLC (FORMERLY HALIFAX BUILDING SOCIETY) SUBORDINATED DEBT AND PERMANENT INTEREST BEARING SHARES TO Aa2 AND CONFIRMS DEPOSIT RATINGS AT Aa1
London, 06-02-97 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned Aa1/Prime-1 debt ratings to Halifax plc (Halifax), formerly Halifax Building Society. These ratings reflect Moody's belief that the Halifax's conversion to a bank is unlikely to affect its stable market position in the United Kingdom, or its healthy financial fundamentals. In this context, the rating agency expects that Halifax will pursue its growth and diversification plans without significantly hampering its existing strong financial strength.
The ratings for subordinate debt securities and permanent interest bearing shares (PIBS) have been set at one level below the senior debt rating. This rating differential takes into account the characteristics of the perpetual subordinated bonds which will replace the three classes of existing PIBS, the consequence of conversion for the right of bond holders, as well as the view that Halifax's financial strength substantially reduces the additional credit risks associated with these instruments.
Ratings assigned are as follows:
Halifax plc -- long-term deposit rating at Aa1; short-term deposits and commercial paper rating at Prime-1; senior debt rating at Aa1; subordinated debt and junior subordinated debt rating at Aa2; counterparty rating at Aa1; financial strength rating at A.
Halifax plc, headquartered in Halifax, England, is the United Kingdom's sixth largest bank, with consolidated assets at December 31, 1996, of GBP 116 billion (approximately US$ 174 billion).
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