Bond Ratings: Arizona Muni Fund, GM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Nuveen Arizona Dividend Advantage Municipal Fund 3 ( NXE) has received an AAA rating from Fitch on March 1 for its newly-issued securities.

The securities are $21.9 million of MuniFund Term Preferred Shares (MTP).

Proceeds from their sale will be used by the fund to help fund the redemption of all its outstanding auction-rate preferred securities and to slightly increase its leverage.

Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's use the same ratings scale.

The Nuveen Arizona Dividend Advantage Municipal Fund 3 invests its net assets in a portfolio of municipal bonds that are exempt from regular federal and Arizona income taxes.

The MTP shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange or NYSE Amex under the ticker NXE Pr C within 30 days.

Apparel company Perry Ellis International ( PERY) has received a tentative B2 rating from Moody's for its proposed senior subordinated bonds and may receive an upgrade from the rating agency for its B2 corporate family and probability of default ratings.

Moody's actions, announced on Feb. 28, follow Perry's announced plan to issue common equity in addition to the bonds.

"The anticipated repayment of revolver borrowings with equity proceeds would reduce leverage and enhance external liquidity by increasing revolver availability."

Perry has used a bulk of this revolving credit borrowing to fund its acquisition of the Rafaella Apparel Group.

In other ratings news, Moody's said on Feb. 28 that department store J.C. Penney's ( JCP) approval of a $900 million open market share repurchase program has no immediate impact on the company's Ba1 corporate family rating and stable outlook.

Moody's on the same day also said that department store Kohl's ( KSS) announcement of a first-ever dividend and increased share repurchase program has no immediate impact on the company's Baa1 senior unsecured rating and stable outlook.

Standard & Poor's meanwhile, said on Feb. 24, that General Motors' ( GM) fourth-quarter profit was consistent with the agency's rating and outlook for the company.

Therefore, S&P maintained its BB- rating with positive outlook for the company.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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