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HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY NOTES, MAUI ELECTRIC COMPANY, LIMITED NOTES AND HAWAII ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY NOTES RATED 'A-' BY DUFF & PHELPS

 CHICAGO, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has assigned a rating of "A-" (Single-A-Minus) to Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.'s (HECO) proposed $50 million offering of notes. The "A-" (Single-A-Minus) rating also applies to subsidiaries Maui Electric Company, Limited's and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc.'s proposed note offerings of $10 million each, to be unconditionally guaranteed by HECO.
 HECO's consolidated capital structure reflects fairly high leverage when adjusted for purchased power commitments. HECO and its subsidiaries are meeting growing power needs primarily through purchases from independent power producers. Constructively, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission appears to have given some recognition to and offsetting relief for the financial burdens related to HECO's sizable purchased power obligations. Additional equity contributions from parent Hawaiian Electric Industries' (HEI) are expected to support HECO's capital structure and reduce adjusted leverage.
 The economic slowdown in Hawaii will provide an opportunity for more manageable growth in HECO's electric sales. Still, the company's construction program will remain large, as projects to increase system reliability continue. Coverages will be pressured, making adequate and timely rate relief important. Competitive risks are a concern with the company's already high rates and expected future rate increases.
 Uncertainty surrounding HEI's decision to cease operations at its insurance subsidiary in late 1992 continues. The extent of additional financial responsibility ultimately required, if any, is unknown. A distinct separation between utility and non-utility businesses and financial affairs is assumed, although HECO has been named in one of the legal suits.
 HECO is the primary subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE), a diversified holding company. HECO and its subsidiaries provide power to 95 percent of Hawaii's residents.
 -0- 12/7/93
 /CONTACT: John C. Dell of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3161/
 (HE)


CO: Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. ST: Hawaii IN: UTI SU: RTG

PS -- NY045 -- 5424 12/07/93 12:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 7, 1993
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