This Might Be the Definition of the Rating Symbol AA

An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is very strong.


AA rated companies demonstrate very high quality with respect to future security. Along with the AAA rated companies, this group forms the so-called “quality class.” Security margins may, however, be comparatively thinner, the solidity of the security elements may fluctuate more or individual assessment components may indicate a greater long-term risk than is the case for AAA rated companies.

Why are there no legally binding definitions of rating symbols here? Depending on the subject of the rating and the scope of application, different legal framework conditions apply, which also differ in states of different legal systems. Rating scales are the subject of a development that has lasted for more than a century. Rating agencies continue to develop their scales due to new insights, improved analytical techniques and growing or changing market requirements. Therefore, in each individual case, the evidence of a rating is to be examined as to which statement should be made with a rating. Depending on the time, subject and other conditions, rating symbols are to be interpreted differently. Therefore, we recommend detailed advice. Why are rating agencies not mentioned here by name? It is the responsibility of each rating agency to provide its definitions of rating symbols and, if necessary, to update them. It happens that different rating agencies use the same rating symbols, sometimes with comparable but sometimes with different meanings. The definitions offered by rating agencies need to be questioned because in rare cases the wording of the definitions is ambiguous and promises, for example, a certainty of judgment that we at RATING EVIDENCE can not confirm empirically.