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S&P ups Mitsubishi Securities' long-term ratings 1 notch.

TOKYO, Dec. 17 Kyodo

Standard & Poor's said Friday it has raised its long-term counterparty and senior unsecured ratings on Mitsubishi Securities Co. one notch in view of the brokerage's ''enhanced strategic importance'' for Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc.

Both ratings were raised to A-minus from BBB-plus, the U.S. rating agency said.

On July 15, S&P had put the brokerage's rating as well as the long-term ratings of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp. on CreditWatch.

The action follows an announcement on July 14 that UFJ Holdings Inc. proposed merging with Mitsubishi Tokyo, starting merger talks.

The ratings of both the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Trust and Banking were affirmed at A-minus on Friday.

The outlook on the just-assigned rating on Mitsubishi Securities is positive.

S&P said the brokerage has taken on the merger and acquisition, securitization and derivatives businesses from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and its major overseas securities subsidiaries.

This means a substantial part of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's wholesale securities businesses were transferred to the brokerage, it said.

The bank and brokerage are expanding their network of branches where they can provide one-stop access for their banking and brokerage services. In addition, they are enhancing cooperation in securities business following the lifting of the ban on securities intermediary business by banks this month.

Given Mitsubishi Tokyo's strategy of developing an integrated securities business that includes both retail and wholesale businesses, Mitsubishi Securities is playing an increasingly important role as the core brokerage in the financial group, it said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Dec 20, 2004
Words:258
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