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DUFF & PHELPS LOWERS JERSEY CENTRAL POWER & LIGHT COMPANY RATINGS

 CHICAGO, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has lowered the fixed income security ratings for Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) as follows: first mortgage bonds/secured medium- term notes from `A' (Single-A) to `A-' (Single-A-Minus); debentures and preferred stock from `A-' (Single-A-Minus) to `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus); and commercial paper from Duff 1 to Duff 1- (One Minus). Approximately $1.5 billion of long-term debt securities are affected.
 Separately, the ratings for Metropolitan Edison Company (Met Ed) and Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) have been reaffirmed. Met Ed's ratings are as follows: senior secured `A-' (Single-A-Minus); preferred stock `BBB+' (Triple-B-Plus); and commercial paper Duff 1- (One Minus). Penelec's reaffirmed ratings are: senior secured `A' (Single-A); preferred stock `A-' (Single-A-Minus); and commercial paper Duff 1.
 JCP&L is heavily dependent on purchased power to meet its load requirements. These large-and-growing obligations strain credit protection measures and reduce financial flexibility. JCP&L's high rate structure and less than optimum rate class differentials limit its ability to compete effectively.
 Improvement in the sluggish service territory economy could provide some improvement in sales growth. Additionally, the recent $131 million rate increase approved by the New Jersey Board of Regulatory Commissioners will provide some short-term relief.
 Jersey Central Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of General Public Utilities Corporation (GPU), provides electric service to approximately 887,000 customers in northwestern and east central New Jersey. Jersey Central is the largest revenue producer in the GPU system.
 -0- 6/14/93
 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
 (GPU)


CO: Jersey Central Power & Light Company ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU: RTG

CK -- NY060 -- 1601 06/14/93 11:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 14, 1993
Words:279
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