WASHINGTON -- Standard & Poor's Corp. said Wednesday that it had assigned its highest rating to Credit Lyonnais' derivatives program.

The AAA-t came on the same day that Moody's Investors Service prospectively gave its highest rating to the program. The "t" in the Standard & Poor's rating signifies that the contract may be terminated before the last date of the original payment schedule.

The ratings mark the first time a separate rating has been assigned to a derivatives program within Credit Lyonnais.

A reason for the derivatives program's higher rating is that its transactions will be guaranteed by an affiliate of Financial Securities Assurance, a financial insurer with triple-A ratings from both credit agencies.

Having a higher rating than the bank will enable the derivatives program to trade with more counterparties.

During the initial phase of Credit Lyonnais' derivatives program, the bank will enter into derivatives transactions directly with counter-parties through its New York branch. Other major booking centers are expected to join the derivatives program in 1995.

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