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Fitch downgrades HCP

Fitch Ratingslowered HCP Inc.'s long-termissuer default rating to BBB from BBB+.

The rating agencyalso placed the company's ratings on Rating Watch Negative.

The downgradereflects the company's likely weaker credit metrics, especially leverage and contingentliquidity, after a spinoff of its HCRManorCare portfolio, expectedto be completed in the second half of 2016.

The Rating WatchNegative contemplates the execution risks related to the funding of the spinoffand the asset sales HCP must execute to keep leverage between 6x and 7x and operatewith a liquidity surplus, Fitch said.