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Fitch upgrades Banco Múltiple López on higher profitability, capitalization

Fitch Ratings on March 26 raised its long-term national scale rating on Dominican Republic-based Banco Múltiple López de Haro SA to BBB(dom) from BBB-(dom), with a stable outlook.

The upgrade was driven by sustained improvements in the bank's profitability and capitalization levels, in addition to low and stable loan delinquency levels. The rating agency expects the bank's financial profile to continue showing resilience through various economic cycles.

Fitch also affirmed the lender's short-term national rating at F3(dom).

Banco Múltiple's ratings are based on its limited business model, which focuses on the corporate business segment.

A low provisions burden, reflecting strong asset quality and high operating efficiency, allowed the company to improve certain profitability indicators at the end of 2017, Fitch noted. Although those indicators are consistent with the bank's strategic priorities and low risk appetite, they still compare unfavorably with the bank's peers.

A further upgrade of the bank's ratings will depend on sustained capital improvements and higher profitability, Fitch said.