Standard & Poor's has raised the credit ratings on about $16 billion of debt of BankAmerica Corp. and its affiliates.
The rating agency said the San Francisco-based bank had emerged as a "very clear leader" in its markets in the western half of the United States. The agency also said the "dislocations" from integrating the operations of Security Pacific Corp. and Continental Corp. had temporarily retarded revenue growth but that the bank was regaining momentum.
S&P said BankAmerica also was positioned to profit from economic growth around the Pacific Rim.
It raised the senior debt rating on BankAmerica Corp. to A-plus from A; it hiked the subordinated debt rating of the holding company to A from A- minus, and it lifted the rating on the company's preferred stock to A-minus from BBB-plus.
Analysts at Bear, Stears & Co. said they believed Moody's Investors Service would also upgrade BankAmerica soon.