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Moody's affirms 16 Mexican insurers following sovereign action

Moody's de México said April 4 that it affirmed the globallocal currency and national scale insurance financial strength ratings of 16insurance companies in Mexico.

The insurers whose ratings were affirmed include: ,Afianzadora Insurgentes SA deCV, Afianzadora PuntoAserta SA and Prudential Seguros Mexico SA at Baa2/; and Aserta Seguros Vida at Ba1/; Chubb de Mexico Compania de Seguros SA, and PrimeroFianzas, SA de CV at Baa1/; Dentegra Seguros Dentales,Plan Seguro SA de CV Compania deSeguros and Royal& Sun Alliance Seguros (Mexico) SA at Baa3/; as well asSeguros Azteca Danos SA deCV and Seguros AztecaSA de CV at Ba1/ The outlook for these insurers remainsstable.

Meanwhile, the insurance financial ratings of andChubb de Mexico Cia. AfianzadoraSA were also affirmed at Baa1/, but their outlook was changedto stable from positive.

The rating agency also maintained the review for downgradeof MBIA Mexico SA deCV's rating.

The ratings actions follow Moody's outlook change tonegative on Mexico'slocal-currency and foreign-currency A3 sovereign bond ratings.

The stable outlook reflects that, even though most insurers'investment exposure to the sovereign is significant, their financial strengthratings are well positioned while a potential downgrade of the Mexicansovereign bond rating is not likely to put downward pressure on the insurers'credit profile, Moody's said.

"Mexican insurers' broadly benefit from very modestreliance on debt funding and financing and their liquidity positions arerelatively strong, given good premium revenue streams and the relative lack ofcredit-sensitivity of insurance premiums broadly," Moody's noted. Theinsurers' profitability, internal capital generation that derives frominsurance underwriting as well as investment activities also serve as factorsfor the stable outlook.

The outlook shift for ACE Fianzas Monterrey and Chubb deMéxico Cia. Afianzadora reflects "that the positive trend observed in theircredit profiles relative to other Baa1 credits is more than offset by therecent negative outlook on the Mexican sovereign, given the companies' directinvestment exposure to sovereign and local assets, as well as their particularsensitivity to the economic cycle and other macroeconomic/financial trends inthe country."

Meanwhile, MBIA México's review for downgrade is based onthe explicit and implicit support provided by , which is also underreview for downgrade, Moody's noted.