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Press Release Source: Fitch Ratings
Fitch Downgrades AFLAC Inc. & Subsidiaries; Remain on Watch Negative
Friday March 6, 12:33 pm ET
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings downgrades Aflac Inc.'s (Aflac) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'A+' from 'AA-' and senior debt rating to 'A' from 'A+'. In addition, the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of Aflac's insurance operating subsidiaries are downgraded from 'AA' to 'AA-'. The Rating Watch remains Negative. (A full list of rating actions follows at the end of this release.)
Originally posted by Hx3_1963
Bank of America to sue over disclosures?
They DO NOT want this to get out...looking for a link...
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Barclays Capital upgraded the debt for General Electric Co. on Friday to market weight from underweight, citing the recent decline in bond prices. "We still have fundamental concerns about wholesale funded businesses and believe asset quality will be a major headwind in 2009," the investment firm said. "Still, we believe liquidity is stable, and spreads therefore fully reflect the risk." Meanwhile, the cost of insuring GE's debt fell to $1.6 million from $1.78 million on Thursday to protect $10 million in senior bonds from default in five years, according to data from CMA. Shares of GE rose 3% at last check to $6.87. (Updates to place bond insurance prices into monetary form).
March 6 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. rose in New York trading as analysts for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Merrill Lynch & Co. said the company has adequate capital for its finance arm.
GE, which has fallen for five straight days, rose 21 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $6.87, at 12:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have fallen 79 percent in the past 12 months.
The company’s industrial businesses are still expected to generate several billion dollars in profit that could be injected into GE Capital, Merrill Lynch analyst John Inch wrote in a report today. Sanford Bernstein’s Steven Winoker wrote that GE Capital will have adequate minimum capital.
Bonds Beat Stocks in ‘Earth-Shattering’ Reversal: Chart of Day
March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Buying 30-year Treasuries is returning more than stocks for the first time since Jimmy Carter was president.
For three decades, owning equities in developed countries earned more than “on-the-run” 30-year government bonds. The advantage reversed after $36 trillion was erased from equity markets since October 2007 amid the first simultaneous recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan since World War II.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows Treasuries leading. The Ryan Labs Total Return Indices, which track bonds by continually adding the most recently sold security and removing the old one, returned 1,479 percent in 30 years. It beat MSCI’s Gross World index of buying developed market stocks and reinvesting dividends, which added 1,265 percent.
“Over the last 30 years there’s been no risk premium,” said Douglas Cliggott, manager of the $81 million Dover Long/Short Sector Fund, which has beaten 92 percent of its peers this year. “It’s potentially earth shattering because the equity market hasn’t delivered the goods.”
The returns are a reversal from October 2007, the peak for global stocks. The MSCI gauge rose 2,845 percent to a record 17 months ago, more than double the 1,156 percent gain for Treasuries from 1979.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged 38 percent last year, the steepest slide since 1937. Treasuries returned 14 percent for the best annual performance since 1995, according to Merrill Lynch & Co. indexes. Thirty-year Treasuries enjoyed their best year since at least 1988, giving investors a return of 41.2 percent, Merrill’s data show.
NYSE Will Start Rejecting On-Close Orders to Ease Price Swings
March 6 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest equity market by value of listed companies, will seek to reduce last-minute swings in prices by changing the way it handles bids and offers at the close of trading.
The new procedures apply to orders designated for the last 20 minutes of trading and will be implemented March 9, the NYSE said in an e-mailed notice to brokers. Those trades accounted this week for about a quarter of total volume at the Big Board, according to Bloomberg data.
The NYSE will accept on-close orders after 3:40 p.m. in New York only if they reduce gaps of 50,000 shares or more between buy and sell orders. The exchange will automatically reject on- close orders after 3:40 p.m. if they add to those imbalances. The exchange will also start to reject cancellations for on-close orders after 3:50 p.m.