Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday said it raised its issue ratings on a number of securities issued by two European financial institutions.
The ratings agency raised its issue ratings on Barclays Bank PLC's hybrid capital securities to 'A-' from 'BBB+.'
It also and raised its issue ratings on Norwegian financial services group DnB NOR Bank ASA's hybrid capital securities to 'BBB+' from 'BBB.'
S&P classifies perpetual, deferrable junior subordinated debt and preference shares as hybrid capital securities.
The ratings agency established a three-notch gap between the long-term counterparty credit rating and the hybrid security rating for most European banks in March. But it set a four-notch gap for some companies, including Barclays and DnB NOR, due to various factors including their elimination of ordinary dividends.
Barclays resumed cash dividends on ordinary shares in December. The group holding companies of both Barclays and DnB NOR recently announced final dividends for their 2009 financial years.
As a result, S&P reduced the gap between the long-term counterparty credit ratings and the hybrid security ratings to three notches.
Barclay's U.S. shares gained 49 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $19.82 in morning trading.
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