Public Finance Criteria

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Capacity for timely payment on issues with this designation is satisfactory. However, the relative degree of safety is not as high as for issues designated ‘A-1’.


Issues carrying this designation have an adequate capacity for timely payment. They are, however, more vulnerable to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances than obligations carrying the higher designations.

B: Issues rated ‘B’ are regarded as having only speculative capacity for timely payment.

C: This rating is assigned to short-term debt obligations with a doubtful capacity for payment.

D: Debt rated ‘D’ is in payment default. The ‘D’ rating category is used when interest payments of principal payments are not made on the date due, even if the applicable grace period has not expired, unless Standard & Poor’s believes such payments will be made during such grace period.

Dual Ratings:

Standard & Poor’s assigns “dual” ratings to all debt issues that have a put option or demand feature as part of their structure.

The first rating addresses the likelihood of repayment of principal and interest as due, and the second rating addresses only the demand feature.

The long-term debt rating symbols are used for bonds to denote the long-term maturity and the commercial paper rating symbols for the put option (for example, ‘AAA/A-1+’). With short-term demand debt, note rating symbols are used with the commercial paper rating symbols (for example, ‘SP-1+/A-1+’

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