Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).

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For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?

We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.

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In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

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HOW WE USE INFORMATION

We store and use information you provide as follows:

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We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

In order to provide support on the usage of our tools, our support team need access to all information provided in relation to the tool.

We will not disclose your name, email address or postal address or any data that could identify you to any third party without first receiving your permission.

However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.

ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION AND CORRECTION

We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.

OTHER WEBSITES

Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

CONTACT

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BHP Billiton PLC (BLT)

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Wednesday 16 October, 2002

BHP Billiton PLC

UPGRADE OF MOODY'S RATINGS

BHP Billiton PLC
16 October 2002



Date: 16 October 2002

MOODY'S UPGRADES BHP BILLITON'S RATINGS

The following announcement was made today by Moody's Investors Service:

'MOODY'S UPGRADES BHP BILLITON'S RATINGS (SENIOR UNSECURED TO A2; SHORT-TERM TO
P-1); OUTLOOK STABLE


Approximately $4.8 Billion of Debt Securities Affected.


Moody's Investors Service today upgraded the senior unsecured rating and
short-term rating of BHP Billiton's (BHPB) guaranteed subsidiaries to A2 (from
A3) and P-1 (from P-2) respectively. Moody's also upgraded the preferred stock
rating of BHP Operations Inc to A3 from Baa1. The rating outlook is stable.
Moody's says the rating upgrade reflects BHPB management's successful effort in
combining the group's operations, following the dual listed company merger which
was implemented in June 2001. The rating upgrade also recognises BHPB's well
diversified asset portfolio which cushions the group against the current
weakness in certain commodity prices. In addition the upgrade recognises
management's focus on maintaining a disciplined financial policy and capital
investment framework. At the same time, the A2/P-1 rating reflects BHPB's large
capital expenditure program over the medium term related to the development of
its growth projects, and the impact on earnings and cash flow of the continued
price weaknesses of some of BHPB's commodities. This concludes the review for
possible upgrade commenced on August 24, 2002.


Moody's notes that BHPB management has made considerable progress over the past
15 months in ensuring a smooth transitioning for the merged group, including
combining the operations of the former companies with little disruption,
developing and implementing the strategic framework for the merged group, and
implementing a strong governance framework for capital investment decisions. In
addition, BHPB's senior management has maintained its focus on cost management
initiatives, including merger-related savings of $270m by 2002-03 fiscal year
and targeting an additional $500m of additional cost savings by 2004-05 fiscal
year. These initiatives, combined with management commitment to maintaining a
prudent financial strategy, provide support for the A2/P-1 ratings.


The rating also recognises the credit strength associated with BHPB having well
diversified and high quality commodity assets that enjoy globally competitive
cost positions. This strength will continue to mitigate against weakness in
commodity prices. Reflecting this strength, BHPB produced relatively robust
operating cash flow over 2001-02 despite the difficulties encountered in certain
commodities. Moody's believes that the near term outlook for certain
commodities, such as copper and aluminium, will remain weak pending a meaningful
up-turn in global economic growth but that BHPB is well positioned at the A2
rating level to withstand such challenges.


Moody's notes that BHPB's forecast revenue growth will come from an extensive
pipeline of projects currently planned or under development mainly relating to
petroleum, aluminium and carbon steel materials. These projects will require a
large amount of capital expenditure and involve a degree of execution risk
associated with bringing them on stream to deliver the forecast returns.
Nevertheless, Moody's believes that BHPB maintains a disciplined capital
investment framework that represents marked improvement from the old practices
adopted by the group. The strengthened capital investment framework should
mitigate against execution risk.


Moody's expects some weakening in credit protection measures in 2003 and 2004
fiscal years due to additional debt required to partially fund the planned
capital expenditure. That said, Moody's anticipates a strong recovery in
measures of creditworthiness by 2005, as the new projects come on stream. As a
result Moody's expects that BHPB should be able to maintain solid debt coverage
measures over the next 3-5 years, including retained-cash-flow-to-gross-debt
ratio in the 35%-45% range, even under conservative commodity price scenarios
assumed by Moody's.


BHPB displays a solid liquidity profile that is highlighted by its strong cash
flow generating capacity and reasonably high levels of balance sheet liquidity.
In addition, BHPB maintains an appropriate level of financial flexibility to
cover any potential shortfall in free cash flow over the next 12-24 months,
including access to a committed revolving facility, and management's
demonstrated ability to manage its capital expenditure.


The ratings upgraded are:


BHP Billiton Finance Ltd. (guaranteed) - senior unsecured rating of A2 (from
A3); short term rating of P-1 (from P-2)


BHP Billiton Finance (USA) Ltd. (guaranteed) - senior unsecured rating of A2
(from A3)


BHP Billiton Finance BV (guaranteed) - senior unsecured rating of A2 (from A3)


BHP Copper Inc. (guaranteed) - senior unsecured rating of A2 (from A3)


BHP Operations Inc - Preferred stock rating of A3 (from Baa1)


BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest natural resource companies, with
diversified operations including petroleum, iron ore, alumina/aluminium, energy
and metallurgical coal, and base metals. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia,
BHP Billiton generated consolidated turnover of US$15.9 billion (excluding joint
ventures) for the 12 months ending 30 June 2002.'



BHP Billiton Limited ABN 49 004 028 077
Registered in Australia
Registered Office: 600 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria 3000
Telephone +61 3 9609 3333 Facsimile +61 3 9609 3015

BHP Billiton Plc Registration number 3196209
Registered in England and Wales
Registered Office: 1-3 Strand London WC2N 5HA United Kingdom
Telephone +44 20 7747 3800 Facsimile +44 20 7747 3900

The BHP Billiton Group is headquartered in Australia


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange