MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor's) Oct. 10, 2012- Standard &
Poor's Ratings Services said today that it had assigned its 'A+'
long-term credit rating to BHP Billiton Finance Ltd.'s A$1
billion 3.75% notes due 2017. The notes are issued under BHP
Billiton Finance's A$5 billion medium-term note program and are
guaranteed by BHP Billiton Ltd. (A+/Stable/A-1). The proceeds
will be used for general corporate purposes.
The ratings on diversified resources company BHP Billiton
(incorporating BHP Billiton Ltd. and BHP Billiton PLC) reflect
our view of the Australia-based company's excellent market
position, substantial portfolio diversification, low-cost
operations, conservative financial policies, and solid project
pipeline. Partly offsetting these strengths are the company's
sensitivity to volatile commodity prices and a measured exposure
to higher-risk emerging markets. BHP Billiton is the world's
largest diversified resources company, based on sales turnover
and market capitalization.
RELATED CRITERIA AND RESEARCH 2008 Corporate Criteria:
Analytical Methodology, April 15, 2008