FTS.PR.C / FTS.PR.E / FTS.PR.F Upgraded by S&P

S&P has announced:

it raised its long-term corporate credit rating on St. John’s, Nfld.-based Fortis Inc. to ‘A-‘ from ‘BBB+’. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s raised the senior unsecured debt rating on Fortis to ‘A-‘ from ‘BBB’, the foreign scale preferred stock rating to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB-‘, and the Canadian scale preferred stock rating to ‘P-2’ from ‘P-2(Low)’.

The stable outlook reflects the underlying operational and financial stability of Fortis’ operating companies. We could lower the ratings if Fortis were to materially elevate its leverage or if one of its larger subsidiaries encountered major financial or operational difficulties. A positive outlook or upgrade remains unlikely in the near term but could occur as a result of further diversification. We expect the company to remain acquisitive in the next few years; further acquisitions should not prompt a downgrade, provided they remain consistent within the company’s regulated focus and expertise and were financed consistent with current financial policies.

The potential for this upgrade has been discussed earlier. It should be noted that DBRS continues to rate the issues as Pfd-3(high), with the last confirmation of this rating on February 26.

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