TEXT-S&P Rates BHP Billiton Finance Ltd.'s A$1 Billion MTN 'A+'

(The following was released by the rating agency)

MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor's) Oct. 10, 2012- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it had assigned its 'A+' long-term credit rating to BHP Billiton Finance Ltd.'s A$1 billion 3.75% notes due 2017. The notes are issued under BHP Billiton Finance's A$5 billion medium-term note program and are guaranteed by BHP Billiton Ltd. (A+/Stable/A-1). The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.

The ratings on diversified resources company BHP Billiton (incorporating BHP Billiton Ltd. and BHP Billiton PLC) reflect our view of the Australia-based company's excellent market position, substantial portfolio diversification, low-cost operations, conservative financial policies, and solid project pipeline. Partly offsetting these strengths are the company's sensitivity to volatile commodity prices and a measured exposure to higher-risk emerging markets. BHP Billiton is the world's largest diversified resources company, based on sales turnover and market capitalization.

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