Duff & Phelps assigned an initial rating of BB to BankAtlantic Bancorp's planned $35 million senior note issue.

D&P said BankAtlantic has posted a "solid recovery from the financial difficulties the institution faced a few years ago," raising its capital and reserve ratios and decreasing its exposure to problem assets.

Counting against the bank were its geographic concentration in South Florida and its business focus in commercial real estate.

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