Fitch Ratings


Fitch Ratings
USA
Fitch Ratings, a subsidiary of Fimalac SA (a French international business support services group), is a rating agency that ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers by rating their debt or other securities using a standardized ratings scale. Their credit ratings cover corporate, sovereign, financial, bank, insurance, municipal and other public finance entities and the securities or other obligations they issue. They also cover structured finance securities backed by receivables or other financial assets. In addition to credit ratings, Fitch also publishes ratings, scores and other relative opinions relating to financial or operational strength.
Long-term Issue Credit Ratings.
The scale runs from AAA to D and intermediate ratings of (+) or (-) are offered at each level between AA and CCC (for example, BBB+, BBB and BBB-). Fitch may also offer guidance (referred to as a credit watch) on whether it is likely to be upgraded (positive), downgraded (negative) or uncertain (neutral).
investment grade: AAA, AA, A, BBB (from best quality to good quality but somewhat vulnerable to changing economic conditions).
non-investment grade (also referred to as junk): BB, B, CCC, CC, C (speculative; from the least degree of speculation to the highest degree); D (in payment default).
Short-term Issue Credit Ratings.
The scale runs from F1 to D. An F1 rating may be designated with a plus sign (+) to indicate that the issuer's commitment to meet its obligation is extremely strong.
• F1 (strongest capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country).
• F2 (good capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country).
• F3 (adequate capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country; susceptible to near-term adverse changes).
• B (uncertain capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country; highly susceptible to near-term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions). speculative; from the least degree of speculation to the highest degree).
• C (highly uncertain capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country; capacity for meeting financial commitments is solely reliant upon a sustained, favorable business and economic environment).
• D (actual or imminent payment default).

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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