Moody's Upgrades Nissan Motor

Believes company has competitive product offering in emerging markets

Moody's Investors Service said Sept. 5 it had upgraded Nissan Motor Co's long-term debt ratings by one notch to "A3" on upbeat expectations for Japan's number three automaker. Moody's said the upgrade reflects its view that the company's capital structure and earnings will improve over the medium term, backed by a strengthened product portfolio and continued cost-cutting efforts.

An "A3" rating means Nissan has a strong capacity to repay its borrowings but is susceptible to changes in its circumstances and the economy. The positive outlook is based on Moody's expectation that Nissan will further strengthen its market position by maximizing competitive product offerings in rapidly growing emerging markets, the rating agency said.

The move came despite the fact that Nissan -- which was overtaken by Honda in 2006 as Japan's second-largest automaker -- continues to struggle after its first drop in annual profits under its one-time savior Carlos Ghosn last year.

Nissan announced separately that it had sealed a deal through its subsidiary Nissan Forklift Europe to buy 100% of Swedish warehouse equipment manufacturer Atlet AB from existing shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

Copyright Agence France-Presse,2007

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