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Fitch affirms Banagrario's viability rating

Fitch Ratings on April 7 affirmed Banco Agrario de Colombia SA's viability rating at 'bb,' adding to earlier affirmations in the wake of the rating agency's sovereign outlook revision.

In affirming the rating, Fitch noted that Banagrario has "a clear focus and a strong franchise" within small- and medium-sized agricultural producer markets, but is still a moderate player within the broader Colombian banking system, with a 3.2% loan market share and a 2.5% deposit market share.

"These elements strengthen the bank's franchise in its specific segment but limit the scope of its business model and challenge the asset quality metrics," the rating agency said.

The affirmation of the viability rating comes weeks after Fitch changed its issuer default rating outlooks on a number of Colombian financial institutions, including Banagrario, to stable from negative following a similar move on the Colombian sovereign.