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TEXT-Fitch affirms 2 Western Asset muni funds ratings
2012年2月29日 / 晚上10点09分 / 6 年前

TEXT-Fitch affirms 2 Western Asset muni funds ratings

Feb 29 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'AAA' rating assigned to
auction-rate preferred shares (ARPS) issued by the following two municipal
closed-end funds sub-advised by Western Asset Management Company (Western
Asset):	
	
Western Asset Intermediate Muni Fund Inc. (NYSE AMEX: SBI)	
--$50,000,000 of ARPS consisting of series M with a liquidation preference of
$25,000 per share.	
	
Western Asset Managed Municipals Fund Inc. (NYSE: MMU)	
--$250,000,000 of ARPS consisting of series M, T, W, Th and F, each with a
liquidation preference of $25,000 per share.	
	
KEY RATING DRIVERS	
The 'AAA' rating is based on asset coverage provided to preferred shares by the
funds' portfolio, structural protections afforded by mandatory cure and
deleveraging provisions in the event of asset coverage declines, the legal and
regulatory parameters that govern the funds' operations and the capabilities of
Western Asset as investment manager.	
	
LEVERAGE	
As of Jan. 31, 2012, SBI's leverage was approximately $50 million, or 26% of
total assets of $196 million. Leverage consisted predominantly of rated ARPS,
with an immaterial amount also invested in an inverse floater of a tender option
bond. As of the same date, MMU's leverage was approximately $250 million, or 30%
of total assets of $836 million. Leverage consisted entirely of rated ARPS.	
	
ASSET COVERAGE	
At the time of the rating affirmation, the funds' asset coverage ratio for
preferred stock, as calculated in accordance with the Investment Company Act of
1940 (1940 Act), was in excess of 200%, which is the minimum asset coverage
required by the 1940 Act. Also, at the time of this affirmation, the funds'
asset coverage ratio, as calculated in accordance with the Fitch total and net
overcollateralization tests per the 'AAA' rating guidelines outlined in Fitch's
applicable criteria were in excess of 100%, which are the minimum asset coverage
deemed consistent with an 'AAA' rating and the minimum asset coverage required
by the fund's governing documents.	
	
Should the asset coverage tests of the ARPS decline below their minimum
threshold amounts (as tested on the last business day of each month), the
governing documents require the funds to alter the composition of their
portfolio toward assets with lower discount factors, or to reduce leverage in a
sufficient amount to restore compliance within a 58 business day period.	
	
FUND PROFILES	
As of Jan. 31, 2012, the portfolios consisted mainly of investment grade
municipal securities. MMU employed higher leverage and invested in longer
maturity assets than SBI, consistent with each fund's investment objective. Both
portfolios were well diversified from sector, obligor and state levels.	
	
THE ADVISOR	
Western Asset acts as the sub-adviser to the funds, performing all investment
management functions. As of Dec. 31, 2011, Western Asset had approximately $443
billion in assets under management. Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor, LLC (Legg
Mason) acts as the advisor to the fund and performs all legal, operational,
compliance and distribution functions. Western Asset and Legg Mason are wholly
owned subsidiaries of Legg Mason Inc.	
	
RATING SENSITIVITY	
The rating assigned to the ARPS may be sensitive to material changes in the
leverage composition, credit quality of portfolio assets or market risk profile
of the funds. A material adverse deviation from Fitch guidelines for any key
rating driver could cause the ratings to be lowered by Fitch.	
	
For additional information about Fitch rating guidelines applicable to debt and
preferred stock issued by closed-end funds, please review the criteria
referenced below, which can be found on Fitch's web site at
'www.fitchratings.com'.	
	
	
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above
were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been
compensated for the provision of the ratings.	
	
The sources of information used to assess this rating were the public domain,
Western Asset and Legg Mason.	
	
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:	
--'Closed-End Fund Debt and Preferred Stock Rating Criteria' (Aug. 16, 2011);	
--'2012 Outlook: Closed-End Fund Leverage' (Dec. 19, 2011).	
	
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:	
Rating Closed-End Fund Debt and Preferred Stock	
2012 Outlook: Closed-End Fund Leverage

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