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Fitch downgrades Seguros Constitución

Fitch Ratings on Sept. 30 downgraded Seguros Constitucion S.A.'s insurer financial strength ratingto BB(dom) from BB+(dom) with a negative outlook.

The rating agency said it lowered the company's rating due todeterioration in its financial performance in the first half of 2016, as well asa negative trend in most of its financial indicators, which are not in line withFitch's expectations. The negative outlook reflects further pressure on the firm'sfinancial situation, which could trigger a legal process from its major shareholder,Fitch said.

Fitch noted the equity support that the company's major shareholderhas provided through capital injections "may result in the regularization ofsome indexes and settle short-term payment obligations." However, the ratingagency believes that a legal dispute could cause the company to face further deterioration,higher operating losses, as well as potential capital and liquidity pressures.

The insurer has been under a liquidation process since November 2015 that is being supervisedby Panama's insurance and reinsurance regulator, Superseguros. According to Fitch,the company's rating could see further downgrades if the current situation continuesto impact its credit profile and its ability to generate new business.

Nevertheless, the outlook could be changed to stable if the ongoingcapitalization plan and other measures taken by the company contribute to improvementand sustainability in the company's operating performance and liquidity position.