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Announcement:

Moody's updates money market fund ratings based on revised methodology

23 May 2011

New York, May 23, 2011 -- Moody's announced today that its revised methodology for money market fund (MMF) ratings is now effective and has been applied to the 291 money market funds the agency rates (a link to the rating list is provided below). These actions conclude a process initiated in September 2010 when Moody's published a Request for Comment proposing a new methodology for money market funds and follows the publication of Moody's revised methodology on March 10, 2011 entitled, "Moody's Revised Money Market Fund Ratings and Symbols".

Moody's revised money fund methodology incorporates the following changes: 1) Ratings determination based on two distinct analytic assessments -- the Portfolio Credit Profile (based on the credit quality of the fund's assets), and Portfolio Stability Profile (including market and liquidity risks) -- and consideration of sponsor quality; 2) Introduction of a new set of rating symbols to reflect the distinct meaning of Moody's money market fund ratings compared to Moody's credit ratings on long-term bonds.

REVISED SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS

Introduced as part of the revised rating methodology are the following revised symbols and definitions that are unique to money market funds:

Aaa-mf: Money market funds rated Aaa-mf have very strong ability to meet the dual objectives of providing liquidity and preserving capital.

Aa-mf: Money market funds rated Aa-mf have strong ability to meet the dual objectives of providing liquidity and preserving capital.

A-mf: Money market funds rated A-mf have moderate ability to meet the dual objectives of providing liquidity and preserving capital.

Baa-mf: Money market funds rated Baa-mf have marginal ability to meet the dual objectives of providing liquidity and preserving capital.

B-mf: Money market funds rated B-mf are unable to meet the objective of providing liquidity and have marginal ability to meet the objective of preserving capital.

C-mf: Money market funds rated C-mf are unable to meet either objective of providing liquidity or preserving capital.

SHIFTS IN MONEY MARKET FUND PORTFOLIO QUALITY

Since September 2008, when money markets were severely disrupted by the default of Lehman Brothers and The Reserve Primary Fund "breaking the buck", money market funds have become more conservatively managed. While some of this increased conservatism was a response to events in 2008, tougher standards imposed on US funds by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and on member European Funds by the Institutional Money Market Funds Association (IMMFA) also played a role. Shortened weighted average maturities, reduced obligor concentrations and elevated liquidity are the most prominent examples of this conservative shift.

Moody's notes that more than a year after the SEC's revisions to Rule 2a-7, money market fund portfolios have continued their conservative positioning. Moody's estimates that based on their portfolios as of September 2010, fewer than 80% of rated funds would have met the current Moody's Aaa-mf standards. Since then, the rating agency has observed improvements in portfolio stability, such that by March 2011 more than 90% of rated money market funds would have met Moody's Aaa-mf standards. These improvements have continued at a number of money market funds since March, and the resulting changes in risk profile and strategy are reflected in the updated ratings.

Additional regulatory reforms are currently under consideration, and such reforms might further alter the landscape of the MMF sector. Moody's will continue to monitor these developments and communicate with the market in the event that regulatory changes affect the MMF ratings or ratings approach in this sector.

MOODY'S UPDATED MONEY MARKET FUND RATINGS

A detailed listing of Moody's updated money market fund ratings is available on Moody's website at the following address: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_133314

Moody's updated rating methodology for money market funds, entitled "Moody's Revised Money Market Fund Ratings and Symbols" and dated March 10, 2011, is available on Moody's website at the following address: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_131303

**

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: New York +1-212-553-0376, London +44-20-7772-5456, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

New York
Daniel Serrao
Senior Vice President
Managed Investments Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Paris
Yaron Ernst
MD - Managed Investments
Managed Investments Group
Moody's France SAS
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's updates money market fund ratings based on revised methodology
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND ITS RATINGS AFFILIATES (“MIS”) ARE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY INCLUDE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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To the extent permitted by law, MOODY’S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY’S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

​​​​​​
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