The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Standard and Poor's

The Standard and Poor's Corporation (S&P), a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, is a company that performs financial research and analysis on stocks and debt instruments. It is one of the top three players in this business. The other two are Moody's and A. M. Best . It is best known for its US-based S&P 500 and the Australian S&P 200 stock market index.


Credit Rating

The company ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale.

The basic ratings are:

Investment Grade

  • AAA - the best quality companies, reliable and stable
  • AA - quality companies, a bit higher risk than AAA
  • A - economic situation can affect finance
  • BBB - medium class companies, which are satisfactory at the moment


  • BB - more prone to changes in economy
  • B - financial situation varies noticeably
  • CCC - very speculative bonds, the company's profit is low
  • CC - same as CCC
  • C - same as CCC
  • CI = past due on interest
  • D = very bad economical condition, almost in bankrupt
  • NR

Ratings below BBB are non-investment grade junk bonds.


See also

External link

  • Standard and Poor's website
  • History of Standard and Poor's
  • Credit Raters Exert International Influence
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55