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Hancock's ratings downgraded following merger

GULFPORT — Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the long- and short-term financial ratings of Hancock Holding Co. following its acquisition of Whitney Holding Corp.

Moody’s said June 7 the ratings outlook for Gulfport-based Hancock is stable. Hancock was put under review when it announced the deal to acquire Whitney Dec. 22.

Moody’s says it took the action because Whitney is a “comparatively large and troubled bank” that has lost money over the past two years. Moody’s also said Hancock may find it difficult to manage the integration of the two companies, particularly in bringing its credit culture into the Whitney franchise.

But Moody’s also says that Hancock’s capital position should be sufficient to absorb any credit losses.

Source: AP

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