Moody's Investors Service said Friday it may upgrade the debt of UJB Financial Corp. The agency said an upgrade, affecting $480 million in securities, will hinge on continued improved earnings and the Princeton-based company's ability to defend its market positions in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

The company's senior debt is rated Baa3. Subordinated debt and cumulative preferred stock are rated Bal, and an upgrade would lift UJB into investment grade in these categories, which have drawn heavy bank issuance in recent years.

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