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Rating Action:

MOODY'S UPGRADES LONG-TERM RATINGS OF FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL (FROM A2 to A1)

09 Nov 2001
MOODY'S UPGRADES LONG-TERM RATINGS OF FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL (FROM A2 to A1)

New York, November 09, 2001 -- Moody's upgraded the long-term senior debt rating of FleetBoston Financial (Fleet), to A1, as well as the deposit ratings of its bank subsidiaries, to Aa3. Following the rating, the rating outlook is stable. The rating action primarily reflects Fleet's strong core profitability and its improving liquidity position at the parent company. The rating agency added that even though Fleet's exposure in Argentina is significant, the company's overall Latin American risk continues to decrease relative to its equity base.

A solid core deposit franchise in good markets has been bolstered by the nearly complete integration of Summit. On the other hand, Fleet's performance remains hampered by still sluggish capital markets activity. Furthermore, Moody's said that Fleet, like its banking peers, is expected to suffer asset quality deterioration as the economy weakens. Even if earnings decline over the intermediate term as revenues fall and credit expenses rise, Fleet's depositors and bondholders should remain well cushioned, according to Moody's.

The rating agency noted that despite leading market shares, Fleet's banks are less than fully core-funded. However, management's intention to maintain additional liquidity at the parent company will result in better protection for holding company creditors.

The following lists the major rating changes:

FleetBoston Financial Corp. -- to A1 from A2 for senior long-term debt; to A2 from A3 for subordinated long-term debt; to A2 from A3 for junior subordinated debt; to A1 from A2 for issuer rating; to A3 from Baa1 for preferred stock; to (P)A1 from (P)A2 for senior unsecured shelf; to (P)A2 from (P)A3 for subordinate shelf; to (P)A2 from (P)A3 for junior subordinated shelf; to (P)A3 from (P)Baa1 for preferred shelf.

Fleet Bank of Maine -- to Aa3 from A1 on the bank for long-term deposits.

Fleet National Bank -- to Aa3 from A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; to Aa3 from A1 for senior long-term debt; to A1 from A2 for subordinated long-term debt; to Aa3 from A1 for issuer rating; and to B from B- for bank financial strength.

Fleet Bank (R.I.), N.A. -- to Aa3 from A1 on the bank for long-term deposits; to Aa3 from A1 for issuer rating; and to B- from C+ for bank financial strength.

Fleet Business Credit, LLC -- to Aa3 from A1 for senior long-term debt.

Summit Capital Trust -- to A2 from A3 for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust I, II, III, IV, V -- to A2 from A3 for preferred stock.

Fleet Capital Trust VI, VII, VIII, IX, X -- to (P)A2 from (P)A3 for preferred stock.

BankBoston Corporation -- to A1 from A2 for senior long-term debt; to A2 from A3 for subordinated long-term debt; to A2 from A3 for junior subordinated debt; to A3 from Baa1 for preferred stock.

BankBoston Capital Trust I, II, III, IV -- to A2 from A3 for preferred stock.

The following ratings were confirmed:

BankBoston Banco Multiplo S.A. -- B2 on the bank for long-term deposits; Not Prime on the bank for short-term deposits; B1 for senior long-term debt; B1 for subordinated long-term debt; and C for bank financial strength.

BankBoston, N.A. (Argentina) -- Caa3 on the bank for long-term deposits; and Not Prime on the bank for short-term deposits.

BankBoston, N.A. (Brazil) -- B2 on the bank for long-term deposits; and Not Prime on the bank for short-term deposits.

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

In addition, all Prime-1 ratings have been confirmed.

FleetBoston Financial Corporation, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, had total assets of $202 billion at September 30, 2001.

New York
Gregory W. Bauer
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: (215) 967-6233
SUBSCRIBERS: (215) 967-6233

New York
Rosemarie Conforte
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: (215) 967-6233
SUBSCRIBERS: (215) 967-6233

No Related Data.
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