The ratings on Switzerland-based engineering group ABB Ltd. are supported by ABB's broadly solid business fundamentals and its position as a leading global player in its major business segments, notably its product divisions, as well as in utilities and process technology. The ratings are constrained, however, by ongoing economic difficulties in many of ABB's key market segments, coupled with continuing uncertainty about future asbestos charges (ABB took a $470 million charge in the fourth quarter of 2001, bringing the group's total asbestos provisions to $940 million). Standard & Poor's will continue to monitor any growth in new claims closely; if the trend accelerated, ABB would be expected to have to review its position. The group will be challenged to meet...
Companies mentioned in this report are: ABB Ltd.
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