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FIRST INTERSTATE BANCORP DEBT RATINGS RAISED BY DUFF & PHELPS

 CHICAGO, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has upgraded the ratings of First Interstate Bancorp and its major subsidiary banks. In addition, both the parent company and the banks remain on Rating Watch-Favorable. The senior debt rating of First Interstate Bancorp has been upgraded to "A-" (single-A-minus) from "BBB+" (triple-B-plus), subordinated debt to "BBB+" (triple-B-plus) from "BBB" (triple-B), and preferred stock to "BBB" (triple-B) from "BBB-" (triple-B-minus). At the subsidiary level, the ratings for all rated banks have been upgraded, with the certificate of deposit ratings raised to Duff 1 and the long-term deposit ratings to "A" (single-A). The rated banks include First Interstate Bank of Arizona, N.A., First Interstate Bank of California, First Interstate Bank of Oregon, N.A., First Interstate Bank of Texas, N.A. and First Interstate Bank of Washington. The current rating structure for the subsidiary banks reflects a change in that D&P is no longer tiering the ratings. Previously, the Arizona and California banks had been rated one level below the Oregon, Texas and Washington banks, with their long-term deposit rating equivalent to the previous parent company senior debt rating of "BBB+."
 The upgrades reflect the reductions made in nonperforming asset levels, improvement in reserve coverage of problem loans, strengthening of core profitability and capital measures, as well the reduction in parent level double leverage. In addition, the rating action and decision to retain First Interstate on Rating Watch-Favorable, underscores the improvements made in the company's operating and risk management systems, along with improved management focus on key strategic issues. Future rating upgrades will, in part, depend on management's ability to sustain ongoing initiatives and credit trends despite weak economic performance in the company's West coast markets.
 -0- 8/2/93
 /CONTACT: Charles J. Orabutt, Jr., CPA, Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3153/
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CO: First Interstate Bancorp ST: IN: FIN SU: RTG

LG -- NY055 -- 8318 08/02/93 11:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 2, 1993
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