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Kimberly Neumann
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SIX receives AA- credit rating from Standard &Poor's for the seventh time in a row

The rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has once again affirmed an AA- credit rating for SIX Group Ltd, thereby reflecting its broad diversification and excellent risk management. The securities services providers SIX SIS Ltd and SIX x-clear Ltd each received an AA- rating (after AA in the previous year). The rating of SIX Payment Services (Austria) GmbH declined slightly from AA- to A+. S&P views the outlook for SIX Group Ltd as stable.

Since 2010 SIX, the internationally active provider of financial market infrastructure and services, has commissioned well-known rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to rate the entire company and to evaluate individual subsidiary companies under the SIX umbrella.

As in previous years, SIX Group Ltd was rated AA-. The securities services providers SIX SIS Ltd and SIX x-clear Ltd were downgraded this year to AA- (AA in the previous year). The rating of SIX Payment Service (Austria) GmbH declined from AA- to A+.

In its rationale, S&P highlighted the pivotal role SIX fulfils as Switzerland’s dominant financial market infrastructure operator, its solid balance sheet structure and strong capital base, sound risk management and high level of diversification. At the same time it warned of a reduction in financial flexibility as a result of the attractive albeit relatively small and slowly growing Swiss financial center. It went on to state that SIX is growing primarily in the field of payment services, which generates a slightly lower margin than the rest of its business.

Stefan Mäder, Group CFO SIX, had the following to say on S&P's ratings: "We are proud that S&P has awarded the Group the very high AA- credit rating for the seventh time in a row. As the operator of financial market infrastructure, we make a major contribution to the attractiveness and stability of the Swiss financial center.

The one notch downgrade of SIX SIS Ltd, SIX x-clear Ltd and SIX Payment Services (Austria) GmbH is the result of S&P's reassessment of SIX. The comparison with our competitors of a similar size in the market resulted in a recalibration, and is a move that we can understand.”