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Fitch downgrades AXA Financial

Fitch Ratings downgraded AXA Financial Inc.'s long-term issuer default rating to BBB+ from A-.

Fitch also downgraded the insurer financial strength ratings to A from A+ of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., MONY Life Insurance Co. of America and U.S. Financial Life Insurance Co.

The agency also downgraded AXA Equitable Life Insurance's long-term issuer default rating to A- from A.

In addition to that, Fitch removed these ratings from Rating Watch Negative and assigned a stable outlook.

The ratings actions reflect the revision in Fitch's view of AXA Financial's strategic importance relative to AXA group to be a significant subsidiary of AXA S.A.

Fitch said AXA Financial's ratings reflect its strong business profile, strong balance sheet profile and strong operating performance. The ratings also consider the company's above-average equity market exposure, pressure from low interest rates on legacy in-force profitability and competitive challenges across the company's major business lines.