S&P; raised Great Western's debt ratings.

Standard & Poor's announced that it boosted the ratings on several debt issues of Great Western Financial, the Beverly Hills-based financial-services firm, and its subsidiaries. In one case, the debt rating agency raised the parent company's subordinated debt rating from BBB- to BBB+. The rating changes reflect Great Western's "improved financial performance, comparatively strong balance sheets and improved competitive presence in strong regional economies of California and the Southeast," S&P; said.

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