NEW YORK -- The recent sharp drop in Japan's stock market will not lead to a credit-rating review of Japanese banks, a Standard & Poor's Corp. officer said this week.

"We're not in danger of seeing undercapitalized banks or changes in credit ratings as a result of the lower stock market" in Japan, said Ernest Napier, vice president of international finance, at a seminar hosted by the ratings agency.

The Nikkei stock index of 225 Japanese companies climbed 129.06 points in early trading Wednesday, to 16,236.05, after dropping nearly 600 points Monday.

Mr. Napier said recent stock losses are not likely to affect the banks' hidden reserves. "There won't be major repercussions," he said.

The highest long-term debt rating S&P has ever given the Japanese banks was AA-plus, Mr. Napier added.

S&P's lowest rating on the long-term debt of a Japanese bank is A-minus for Yasuda Trust and Banking Co.

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