AUSTIN, Texas – The investment-grade ratings of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas (FCBT) were recently affirmed by both Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services. The ratings were originally issued by both rating agencies in 2008.
Fitch Ratings affirmed FCBT’s AA- long-term issuer rating, A+ subordinated debt rating and A+ preferred stock rating. Moody’s affirmed the Aa2 issuer rating, A1 subordinated debt rating and A2 preferred stock rating. The ratings outlooks are stable.
"We are extremely pleased that our ratings have been affirmed by both rating agencies," said Larry Doyle, FCBT chief executive officer. "These favorable ratings reinforce the stability and strength that Farm Credit Bank of Texas offers to investors."
According to statements by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s, the rating actions reflect continued stable operating performance and adequate capital levels of the bank, as well as the expectation that this consistent performance will continue despite anticipated stress in specific segments of the agricultural industry. Both rating agencies also recognized that the bank enjoys substantial benefits as part of the Farm Credit System. The Farm Credit System is rated AAA by Fitch Ratings and Aaa by Moody’s.
Farm Credit Bank of Texas is one of five wholesale banks in the Farm Credit System, which is the nation’s oldest and largest source of financing for agriculture, agribusiness and rural real estate. A government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), the System was created by Congress in 1916 to be a reliable source of credit and liquidity to the U.S. agricultural community.
The five banks jointly own the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, which acts as their agent in the issuance of Federal Farm Credit Banks’ consolidated Systemwide debt. The Farm Credit System has the ability to access capital markets through its GSE status.
Headquartered in Austin, the Farm Credit Bank of Texas provides funds and services to 18 rural lending cooperatives in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, and to five Other Financing Institutions. At March 31, 2010, the bank had assets of $13.9 billion and shareholders’ equity of $854 million.