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Fitch upgrades Dominican Republic's Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos

Fitch Ratings on Dec. 10 raised the long-term national rating of Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos to AA-(dom) from A+(dom) following sustained improvements in the financial entity's asset quality and profitability.

The upgrade also reflects adjustments in the Dominican Republic-based bank's risk appetite, as seen in its prudent growth, as well as its capacity to absorb losses from defaulted consumer loans in past years and maintain solid capitalization.

The company's short-term national rating was also upgraded to F1+(dom) from F1(dom).

Fitch noted that the company's national ratings are highly influenced by its company profile, which considers its strong position in the Dominican market despite the limitations of so-called AAPs, or local savings and loan associations.