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Fitch affirms Banco Agrícola's ratings

Fitch on April 7 affirmed Banco Agrícola SA's long-term issuer default rating at BB-, with a negative outlook.

Fitch also maintained the bank's short-term issuer default rating at B; viability rating at "b"; long-term national rating at AAA(slv), with a stable outlook; and short-term national rating at F1+(slv).

The bank's BB- issuer default rating is based on the potential support from its parent, Bancolombia SA, although it is constrained by the country ceiling of its sovereign, El Salvador.

In Fitch's view, Bancolombia's capacity and propensity to support its El Salvadorian unit considers that any required support would be manageable relative to the ability of the parent to provide it, and the high reputational risks for the parent in the event of default by the subsidiary.

Meanwhile, the viability rating is highly influenced by El Salvador's operating environment, given significant exposure of the bank to the financial health of the government, the wider domestic economy and local financial markets, Fitch noted.

The bank is characterized by robust loan quality metrics, consistently above-market-average profitability amid a rise in credit costs, a sound and consistent capital position, and a solid funding profile.