NEW YORK -- IBCA, the European rating agency, said it raised Banco Espanol de Credito's long-term debt to single-A from A-minus and its short-term rating to A1 from A2.

IBCA also said it downgraded Banco Santander's long-term rating to AA-minus from AA.

A rescue package designed by the authorities and by the new management was approved earlier this year by Banesto's shareholders and the bank was auctioned off. Banco Santander won the bid and the acquisition was completed at the beginning of August, it said.

IBCA said it upgraded its individual, long-term, and short-term ratings of Banesto in view of support provided by the authorities, the strength of its new shareholder, and important internal restructuring, which should help recovery.

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