Following our announcement of an additional of $1 billion credit line, Standard & Poor's (S&P) today downgraded Enron's long-term credit rating one notch from BBB+ to BBB and short-term rating from A2 to A3. We expected this, because it is not unusual to be downgraded after using assets to secure credit. This is still above investment grade.
The ratings of our pipelines Northern Natural Gas and Transwestern have also been lowered from A- to BBB. In S&P's words, "Their ratings [are now] in line with those of the parent company to reflect S&P's view that Enron's pipeline assets have become more strategic to the company."
S&P also said, "[We continue] to believe that Enron's liquidity position is adequate to see the company through the current period of uncertainty, and that the company is working to provide itself with an even greater liquidity cushion through additional bank lines and pending asset sales."
As I've said before, building on our liquidity position through additional credit lines maintains our counterparties' confidence and strengthens our core businesses.
It's important for you to know that our gas and power numbers - which account for more than 95 percent of our trading activity - indicate that our customer base is not withdrawing, closing out positions, or reducing transaction levels as a result of credit concerns. In fact, EnronOnline trading volumes are currently experiencing above-normal activity.
We will continue to update you as new developments arise. Thank you.