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Ratings are an important tool to help understand the amount of risk associated with an investment. However, they are not a guarantee of the safety levels. One of the problems is that there are a number of firms which offer ratings and they all have different methods of describing their findings. In addition some of the scales do not appear intuitive. For instance S&P rating of BBB- denotes an investment is better than one with a BB+ rating, yet logic suggests the opposite.

Ratings are also an attempt to predict the "Estimated Default Risk" (EDR) of an investment - that is what the probability of failure is.

The following table attempts to take the main ratings and compare them against each other. You would expect if all three agencies looked at a company they would come up with the same rating level, eg: Company XYZ would have an A from Fitch, AA- from S&P and Aa3 from Moodys. However that isn't always the case and is the reason why DepositRates.co.nz adds all ratings to a company so you can compare them.

S&P Fitch Moody's
Grosvenor EDR*
AAA AAA Aaa   - 0.02
AA AA Aa2   G1 0.04
AA- A Aa3   -
A BBB A2   G2 0.11
A- BBB A3   -
BBB BBB Baa2   G3 0.31
BBB- CCC Baa3   G4+ 0.5
Investment grade ratings are considered to be an S&P BBB- or above.
BB+ CC Ba1   -
BB C Ba2   G5+ 1.2
BB-   Ba3   G5- 1.7
B+   B1   G6 2.6
B   B2   G7 3.6
B-   B3     5
CCC+   Caa1     6.7
CCC   Caa2     8.8
CCC-   Caa3     11
CC   Ca     14
C   C     17
D   D E3   20

Investment grade ratings are considered to be an S&P BBB- or above.

EDR is estimated default risk

Fitch: "+" or "-" may be appended to a rating to indicate the relative position of a credit within the rating category. Such suffixes are not added to ratings in the "AAA" category or to ratings below the 'CCC' category.

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Disclaimer - Every possible effort has been made to keep the information in the tables and on this site as accurate as possible, however, neither the publisher, Tarawera Publishing, nor anyone engaged to compile the rates and this site accept any liability for inaccuracies or any loss suffered as a result. It is strongly advised that readers check loan details with providers. The full terms and conditions of this site can be found here.

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