NEW YORK -- Moody's Investors Service said it assigned a Baal rating to the special obligation bonds of the Rhode Island Depositors Economic Protection Corp., the agency created to finance the resolution of the state's bank and credit union crisis.

The agency is offering about $300 million in special obligation bonds in a negotiated sale this week. A portion of the bonds was expected to be insured by Financial Security Assurance Inc., whose claims-paying ability is rated Aaa.

The agency is playing a bail-out role after the collapse early last year of a private deposit insurance fund. Northeast Savings of Hartford has taken over the operations of several failed institutions.

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