S&P Adds New Features to RatingsDirect, World’s Foremost Credit Ratings, Research and Risk Analysis Tool

Upgraded Ratings Pages, Improved Alerts and Expanded Ratings Coverage Among Improvements on RatingsDirect

London, January 11, 2006 — Standard & Poor’s, a leading global provider of independent credit ratings indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data, today announced the introduction of an enhanced version of RatingsDirect, its real-time online credit ratings and research solution for investment professionals worldwide.

Standard & Poor's RatingsDirect was enhanced with the specific needs of credit/research analysts, credit risk managers and portfolio managers in mind. It offers expanded credit research and ratings coverage, including National Scale Ratings, Municipal Issuer Credit Ratings, and Financial Enhancement Ratings. Redesigned ratings pages enable users to review an issuer’s current ratings, ratings history and related research at a glance. A new "Quick view" menu allows users to easily search quickly through more than 16 years of issuer history. In addition, enhancements to the e-mail alert system keep users informed of new credit actions and research with much greater precision, saving time and reducing e-mail clutter. Through a simplified set-up process, users can now create up to five unique alerts profiles and focus them by industry, sector, country, region, or state.

In addition, the enhanced RatingsDirect has significantly more credit research. RatingsDirect has more coverage of European infrastructure project financings, and special reports on subjects of critical importance to the credit markets (e.g., "The 2005 Housing Bubble") are now included. Increased Structured Finance coverage of key market sectors includes new editorial offerings on Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities, Asset-Backed Commercial Paper, Collateralized Debt Obligations, and Real Estate Investment Trusts.

"The new RatingsDirect was designed by and for our customers," said Grace Schalkwyk, Senior Vice President at, Standard & Poor’s. "We focused on enhancing the credit content as well as the user experience. This is an enhanced tool that will provide immediate value to the work of financial professionals focused on credit markets."

RatingsDirect enables investment professionals to conduct in-depth and timely analysis on Global Issuers, Public Finance and Structured Finance markets.

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