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Fitch affirms Banco BICE

Fitch Ratings on March 30 affirmed Banco BICE's viability rating at "bbb+" and foreignand local currency long-term issuer default ratings and BBB.

Fitch also affirmed the bank's foreign and local currency short-termissuer default ratings at F2, support rating at 3 and support rating floor at BB+.The long- and short-term national ratings were affirmed at AA(cl) and N1+(cl), respectively.The long-term ratings hold a stable outlook.

The ratings are driven by Banco BICE's intrinsic creditworthinessand are highly influenced by the bank's consistent long-term business strategy thathas yielded resilient results across economic cycles, Fitch said. The ratings alsobalance factors like the bank's low risk-appetite and sound asset quality with itscomparably small size and weaker capital ratios.

BICE has demonstrated an adequate ability to balance risks andreturns in times of credit stress and volatile financial markets, Fitch said.