Standard & Poor's last week cut the ratings on five of the six rated German Landesbanks, some of which provide letters of credit in the municipal market. The agency cited business model and credit concerns for the downgrades.

Bayerische Landesbank had its long-term rating downgraded to BBB-plus from A and its short-term rating lowered to A-2 from A-1; Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg had its long-term rating cut to A-minus from A-plus and its short-term rating dropped to A-2 from A-1; and Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen retained its A long-term rating and its A-1 short-term rating but was given a negative outlook; HSH Nordbank AG had its long-term rating downgraded to BBB-plus from A and the short-term rating was downgraded to A-2 from A-1; WestLB AG had its long-term rating downgraded to BBB-plus from A-minus and its short-term rating remains at A-2.

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