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-S&P sets A+/A-1 ratings to Merrill Lynch.

BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-July 11, 2011--S&P sets A+/A-1 ratings to Merrill Lynch(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

11 July 2011 -- S&P on Friday gave its A+/A-1 counterparty credit ratings with "negative" outlooks to Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc (MLPFS) and Merrill Lynch International (MLI).

MLPFS and MLI are the New York- and London-based broker-dealer units of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC).

The ratings take into account the two firms' status as core broker-dealer subsidiaries of the bank. The holding company is rated one step below the two units due to structural subordination.

The investment-grade ratings of MLPFS and MLI are underpinned by their significant assets, income and capital, as well as by their key role in the group's long-term business strategy and global customer servicing.

At the same time, the "negative" outlooks on the units mirror the same outlook on Bank of America and their ratings will likely move in tandem with the parent's ratings as long as they retain their core status and robust performance, S&P added.

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Publication:M2 Banking & Credit News (BCN)
Date:Jul 11, 2011
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