TEXT-S&P updates criteria on 'CCC+', 'CCC', 'CCC-', 'CC' ratings

Oct 2 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services is updating its criteria for assigning 'CCC+', 'CCC', 'CCC-', and 'CC' ratings, according to a published article titled "Criteria For Assigning 'CCC+', 'CCC', 'CCC-', And 'CC' Ratings." (The article is available on RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at

. and on , under ratings criteria.) The criteria apply to issuer credit ratings and issue ratings.

The criteria are designed to provide clarity for assigning 'CCC+', 'CCC', 'CCC-', and 'CC' ratings. The number of ratings at these levels has grown substantially in recent years as a result of the financial crisis and subsequent recession. In addition, in certain sectors, such as corporate ratings, the increased use of these ratings reflects greater investor acceptance of more speculative credits. In order to provide additional clarity for assigning these ratings, we associate each rating level with a distinct scenario or set of scenarios.

We expect a limited number of rating changes with most rating changes to occur within the 'CCC' category. We expect a minimal number of ratings to move to the 'CCC' category from the 'B' category.

These criteria are effective immediately for all new and outstanding issuer and issue ratings. We intend to complete our review of issuers and issues affected within the next six months.

The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at

. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to research_request@standardandpoors.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at

. (New York Ratings Team)

((e-mail: pam.niimi@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: pam.niimi.reuters.com@reuters.net; Tel:1-646-223-6330;))