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Moody's assigns ratings to Uruguay's Banco de Seguros del Estado

Moody's on April 29 assigned to , or BSE, aglobal scale local currency rating of Baa2 and a national scale insurancefinancial strength rating of

The outlook for the bank's ratings is stable.

BSE's ratings primarily reflect the implicit and explicitsupport from its shareholder, the government of Uruguay, the rating agencysaid. It also reflects BSE's strong brand recognition and dominant position inthe local insurance market, and the tight control the bank holds over itsdistribution channels.

These positive factors are offset by several creditchallenges, including high product concentration in two business lines thatrepresent over 60% of company premiums and a significant concentration of BSE'sinvestment portfolio is in Uruguayan sovereign bonds. The bank also hasconsiderable asset/liability management challenges given guaranteed interestcrediting rates of its annuity segment, which remains a significant portion ofbank reserves.