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Fitch affirms Scotia Seguros; outlook stable

FitchRatings on Sept. 28 affirmed the national financial strength rating of ElSalvador-based insurer ScotiaSeguros SA at AAA(slv). The outlook for the rating is stable.

ScotiaSeguros' rating reflects potential support from its parent, Canada's , which israted AA- on Fitch's international scale and controls the insurer throughInversiones FinancierasScotiabank El Salvador SA.

Therating also considers the good operating performance of the insurer with highlevels of profitability, adequate capitalization and favorable liquiditylevels, Fitch said.

AlthoughScotia Seguros' operating performance remained strong in the first half of2016, it has weakened after a strong increase in acquisition expenses, whichresulted in a decline in operating efficiency.

However,the adequate performance of its portfolio and dilution of its operating costsstructure means its combined ratio is better than average for the sector, Fitchnoted.

Fitchexpects the company's relatively high profitability to continue based on itsgood technical performance and strong internal capital generation, Fitch said.

ScotiaSeguros' liquidity levels are above average for the local insurance market dueto its high proportion of reserves and capital invested in instruments withhigh liquidity, Fitch added.

Finally,the firm's catastrophic risk coverage in its property and life insuranceportfolios is relatively conservative.