Fitch Launches 'CEF Updates' for Closed-End Funds

Fitch Ratings has launched 'CEF Updates' for leveraged closed-end funds (CEFs), providing investors and the market with relevant and transparent information on CEFs' portfolio composition, the types and degree of leverage utilized and the amount of asset coverage protection available to debt holders.

The CEF Updates are offered for CEFs that have Fitch-rated debt, preferred stock or bank loans. Fitch rates $8.6 billion of debt and preferred stock issued by 110 U.S. and Puerto Rican CEFs.

Whereas most existing CEF market data focuses on equity metrics, Fitch's CEF Updates provide a standardized format for comparing leverage and debt repayment metrics, as well as other characteristics, across funds. For example, the CEF Updates include asset coverage as measured by the 1940 Act, as well as by Fitch's CEF rating criteria. Fitch's asset coverage calculation captures the various forms of on- and off-balance sheet leverage that may be used by CEFs, some of which are not reflected in the 1940 Act's calculation.

Fitch plans to update the CEF Updates on an annual basis. The timing will coincide with the funds' dates of public filing of financial statements and the information will be supplemented by discussions with the fund manager and monthly surveillance reports provided to Fitch by the funds.

Fitch has thus far published CEF Updates for the following closed-end funds, available at 'www.fitchratings.com':

--Advent Claymore Convertible Securities and Income Fund (NYSE: AVK), $262 million of Auction-Rate Preferred Shares (ARPS) rated 'AAA';

--Advent/Claymore Global Convertible Securities & Income (NYSE: AGC), $170 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--AGIC Convertible & Income Fund II (formerly known as Nicholas-Applegate Convertible & Income Fund II) (NYSE: NCZ), $274 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--BlackRock Credit Allocation Income Trust I, Inc. (NYSE: PSW), $40.3 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Boulder Growth & Income Fund, Inc. (NYSE: BIF), $25 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Franklin Templeton Limited Duration Income Trust (NYSE: FTF), $90 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Franklin Universal Trust (NYSE: FT), $42 million of senior notes rated 'AAA';

--LMP Corporate Loan Fund Inc. (NYSE: TLI), $35 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--PIMCO High Income Fund (NYSE: PHK), $292 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Pioneer Municipal High Income Advantage Trust (NYSE: MAV), $150 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Pioneer Municipal High Income Trust (NYSE: MHI), $101 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Pioneer Floating Rate Trust (NYSE: PHD), $182.5 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--The Denali Fund (NYSE: DNY), $40.7 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Western Asset Intermediate Muni Fund Inc. (Amex: SBI), $50 million of ARPS rated 'AAA';

--Western Asset Managed Municipals Fund Inc. (NYSE: MMU), $250 million of ARPS rated 'AAA'.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Closed-End Fund Debt and Preferred Stock Rating Criteria', dated Aug. 17, 2009.

--'Closed-End Funds: Evolving Use of Leverage and Derivatives' dated Sept. 27, 2010;

--'Closed-End Funds: Redemptions Provide Some Liquidity to Illiquid ARPS Market', dated Aug. 31, 2010;

--'Closed-End Funds: Fitch Clarifies Criteria for Make-Whole Amounts and Other Prepayment Obligations', dated March 18, 2010.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Closed-End Fund Debt and Preferred Stock Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=462492

Closed-End Funds: Evolving Use of Leverage and Derivatives

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=559525

Closed-End Funds: Redemptions Provide Some Liquidity to Illiquid ARPS Market

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=552106

Closed-End Funds: Fitch Clarifies Criteria for Make-Whole Amounts and Other Prepayment Obligations

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=504986

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE.

Contacts:

Fitch Ratings
Ian Rasmussen, +1-212-908-0232
Senior Director
Fitch Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Greg Fayvilevich, +1-212-908-9151
Associate Director
or
Yuriy Layvand, CPA, CFA, +1-212-908-9191
Associate Director
or
Media Relations:
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549
Email: brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com
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