Fund Scandal Not Hurting Money Fund Ratings: S&P

Feb. 24, 2004 - Standard & Poor's is maintaining its current fund credit ratings on all rated money market funds whose management companies have been linked to allegations of late-trading and market-timing in the mutual fund industry.

Through one-on-one discussions with senior fund company officials, Standard & Poor's has determined that the "allegations of inappropriate trading activity have not affected managements' ability to maintain sufficient liquidity and high credit quality for the rated money market funds."

In light of the allegations involving inappropriate trading activity in the fund industry, Standard & Poor's fund analysts determined it important to evaluate the steps that fund management has taken, or is planning to take, to ensure investor confidence in the safety and governance of its funds, as well as its ability to maintain high standards associated with a money market fund rating.

"One of Standard & Poor's major concerns for a money market fund is management's ability to maintain sufficient liquidity to meet higher than normal shareholder withdrawals - especially during times of negative news for the fund," explains Gary Arne, Managing Director of funds research at Standard & Poor's. "Through our weekly surveillance of all rated money market funds, Standard & Poor's has not detected any extraordinary redemption activity taking place at the funds."

Standard & Poor's currently rates over 340 money market funds in the U.S.

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