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S&P Assigns High Safety Ratings to Two HSBC Funds.

NEW YORK, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ --

Standard & Poor's today assigned triple-'Af' credit ratings and 'S1' volatility ratings on two HSBC Global Reserve Funds bond portfolios, the U.S. Dollar and Sterling funds.

The triple-'Af' credit quality rating reflects the fact that both funds' portfolio investments provide the highest protection against losses from credit defaults, while the volatility ratings recognize that these funds have demonstrated low sensitivity to changing market conditions.

The HSBC Global Reserve Funds PLC's U.S. Dollar Liquidity Plus Fund is managed by HSBC Asset Management (Americas) Inc., a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC ('A+'/'A-1'). As the day-to-day manager, the firm's in-depth knowledge of U.S. markets will be applied to the fund's daily activity. The fund seeks to provide investors with daily liquidity and a competitive level of capital appreciation. In attempting to achieve its objective the fund will invest in an array of high quality, short-term instruments such as commercial paper issuances, certificates of deposit, asset-backed securities, and corporate notes both fixed and floating. The HSBC U.S. Dollar Liquidity Plus Fund seeks to generate a total return greater than one month LIBID.

The HSBC Global Reserve Funds PLC's HSBC Sterling Liquidity Plus Fund is managed by HSBC Asset Management (Europe) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC. The fund is managed by an experienced team of investment professionals who take a thorough analytical approach to the management of the Sterling fund. The investment objective of the Sterling fund is to provide investors with daily liquidity and a competitive level of capital appreciation, which will be retained within the HSBC Sterling Liquidity Plus Fund. The fund aims to achieve a total return greater than one month LIBID. The portfolio will take controlled interest rate risk with strictly limited currency risk, and will also limit credit risk by investing in highly rated instruments. This will include commercial paper, corporate notes both fixed and floating, and asset-backed securities.

HSBC Global Reserve Funds PLC (the "Company") is an umbrella-type, open- ended investment company with variable capital organized under the laws of Ireland. It is authorized in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland as an undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) pursuant to the European Community's regulations. The funds of the HSBC Global Reserve Funds PLC (HSBC U.S. Dollar Liquidity Plus Fund and HSBC Sterling Liquidity Plus Fund) commenced operations on December 1, 2000.

HSBC Global Reserve Funds PLC will utilize Allied Irish Banks PLC ('A+'/'A-1') as the custodian, and AIB/BNY Fund Management (Ireland) Ltd. as the administrator and registrar on the funds.

The credit quality and volatility ratings are based on Standard & Poor's analysis of the funds' eligible portfolio investments and strategy, historical return volatility, and management. Standard & Poor's credit quality rating addresses the level of protection the fund's portfolio holdings provide against losses from credit defaults. The seven-category credit quality rating scale ranges from triple-'Af' (highest level of protection) to triple-'Cf' (least protection). Ratings are based on an analysis of the fund's overall portfolio credit quality. Volatility ratings, which range from lowest volatility ('S1', with certain funds designated with a plus sign (+) to indicate the fund's extremely low sensitivity to changing market conditions) to highest volatility ('S6'), are based on an analysis of a fund's investment strategy and portfolio level risk, including interest-rate risk, credit quality, liquidity, concentration, call and option risk, and currency risk. The effects of various portfolio strategies, such as the use of leverage, hedging, and derivative instruments, are also factored into the rating. Standard & Poor's analysis seeks to uncover risk sources in a managed fund's portfolio and investment strategies, and to assess the potential impact on its rate of return and net asset-value variability. Standard & Poor's monitors each fixed-income fund's portfolio holdings on a monthly basis to maintain current and accurate assessments of its credit quality and volatility profile. Bond funds with volatility ratings of 'S1'possess an aggregate level of risk that is less than or equal to that of a portfolio comprised of government securities maturing within one to three years and denominated in the base currency of the fund, Standard & Poor's said. --Credit Wire.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 2000
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