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LISA MCCUEVICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
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MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

News Now

CU System
Fitch affirms ratings of Southwest Central Corporates
CHICAGO (11/20/07)--Fitch Ratings has affirmed ratings of Southwest Corporate FCU and Central Corporate CU. It affirmed Southwest Corporate FCU’s long-term issuer Default Rating (IDR) and short-term IDR at “AA-” and “F1+,” respectively. Plano, Texas-based Southwest’s ratings are indicative of the company’s low credit-risk profile and ample liquidity, Fitch said. However, the company’s investment portfolio contains some exposure to higher-risk structured products that could cause some instability in earnings and capital, Fitch added (BusinessWire Nov. 13). Southwest is conservatively managed and has well-established risk-management processes, Fitch said, while recognizing Southwest for its franchise within the corporate credit union network. The pending merger of Southwest with Northwest Corporate FCU of Portland, Ore., has been approved by Northwest members and the National Credit Union Administration. The merger becomes effective Dec. 1. Fitch also affirmed Central Corporate CU’s (CenCorp) long-term issuer IDR and short-term IDR at “AA-” and “F1+,” respectively. A liquid balance sheet and low-risk profile are reflected in Southfield, Mich.-based CenCorp’s ratings, Fitch said. A small part of CenCorp’s portfolio is invested in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, some of which are higher risk-structured products negatively affected by dislocation in the credit markets. Fitch found that CenCorp’s liquidity position is sound because the company maintains adequate liquidity with liquid assets and contingent funding sources. Although CenCorp recently reduced its membership capital share deposit requirements, Fitch found that its projected capital ratios remain sufficient.


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