Citing solid profitability, Standard & Poor's raised its rating on Citicorp Thursday to A-plus from A.

About $17 billion of debt is affected.

"Citicorp is well positioned to benefit from growth in some of the more profitable areas of banking," the rating agency said.

"Its global presence encompasses the rapidly growing emerging markets, and the credit card business remains very profitable."

The agency added, "Citicorp has attained higher levels of sustainable profitability and sustainable strength than at any time in recent decades."

The bank's global diversification should shelter it from some of the volatility ordinarily associated with emerging market activities, said the agency.

The ratings on the main banking units were raised to AA-minus, from A- plus. The bank is one of only a few that have been upgraded to the coveted AA-minus level.

Citicorp had been on positive credit watch since June 20.

S&P said the rating outlook should remain stable as long as the bank proves capable of maintaining good performance.

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