Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wall Street Credit Rating Firm Lowers Ratings on Six Banks

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Wall Street Credit Rating Firm Lowers Ratings on Six Banks

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - A major Wall Street credit rating firm on Wednesday lowered its ratings slightly on about $13.3 billion in securities of six of the nation's biggest banking companies, citing concerns over Third World debt and weak financial performances.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's Corp. affirmed the credit ratings for Citicorp, J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., Bankers Trust New York Corp. and Bank of Boston Corp. because of what the firm called their increasing financial strength in certain areas.

S&P slightly lowered debt ratings for Chase Manhattan Corp., the nation's third-largest bank holding company; No. 5 Manufacturers Hanover Corp., of New York; No. 6 Security Pacific Corp., of Los Angeles; No. 7 Chemical New York Corp.; No. 12 Mellon Bank Corp., of Pittsburgh; and No. 20 Irving Bank Corp., of New York.

The ratings help set the price of credit - interest rates - when the companies borrow money in the credit markets. Securities covered by the ratings change ranged from commercial paper to letters of credit and certificates of deposit.

``The downgrades ... primarily reflect continued vulnerability to lesser developed countries exposures combined with median financial performance,'' S&P said in a news release. …

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