Börsenlexikon: Rating

Assessment of the creditworthiness and classification of issuers on the basis of uniform assessment criteria. The rating is carried out by independent agencies. Among the best known internationally are "Standard & Poor's" and "Moody's".The classification scales of both agencies comprise 16 rating classes ("AAA" as an indication of the best credit rating up to "D" as a characteristic of the worst credit rating with a high default risk). Thus, a bond with a top rating has virtually no default risk, while as the risk classification increases, such a possibility cannot be ruled out. Bonds with the worst credit rating and the highest default risk are highly speculative and are not suitable for investment purposes. The ratings used by Standard&Poor's are: Suitable for investment (investment grade) AAA = Reliable and stable obligors, highest quality AA = Good obligors, slightly higher risk than AAA A = Overall economic situation should be considered BBB = Medium quality obligors, currently performing satisfactorily Only suitable for speculative investment purposes (non-investment grade) BB = Very dependent on overall economic situation B = Financial situation is notoriously volatile CCC = Speculative bonds, low income of debtor CC as CCC C as CCC D = In default NR No rating (NR = Non Rated) Ratings below BBB are considered junk bonds.

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