WASHINGTON - The District of Columbiain the coming weeks plans to convert $283.9 million of auction-rate securities on behalf of MedStar HealthInc., which garnered upgrades from Standard & Poor'sand Fitch Ratings ahead of the deal.

Working through the district, MedStar is scheduled to join an ever-growing list of issuers on May 15 when it is scheduled to convert $142.2 million of auction-rate securities to fixed-rate debt. Shortly after the conversion, the district will convert the remaining ARS - about $142 million - to another mode, possibly variable-rate demand obligations, but that decision has yet to be made, said William Liggins, director of the district's revenue bond program.

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