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Fitch takes ratings actions on 4 Dominican Republic-based banks

FitchRatings said April 12 that it acted on four Dominican Republic-based banks.

Fitchupgraded the long-term national ratings of Banco Múltiple Santa Cruz SA to A-(dom) from BBB+(dom)and Banco Múltiple López de HaroSA to BBB-(dom) from BB+(dom), both with a stable outlook. Theshort-term national rating of Banco Múltiple López de Haro was raised toF3(dom) from B(dom) while that of Banco Múltiple Santa Cruz was affirmed atF2(dom).

The ratingupgrade of Banco Múltiple Santa Cruz was based on its diversified revenue base,good portfolio quality and adequate liquidity management. It also took intoaccount an improved capitalization, the consolidation of its business strategyand challenges in efficiency to encourage profitability, Fitch said.

Meanwhile,the change in the ratings of Banco Múltiple López de Haro was based on itsconsistent financial performance relative to peers. The bank's indicators remainedcontrolled and below system default, reflecting a controlled growth and focuson the business segment, Fitch said. The bank also reported modest improvementsin profitability and maintained adequate levels of capitalization andliquidity.

Fitch affirmedthe long- and short-term ratings of Banco Múltiple BDI SA and at BBB(dom) and F3(dom), respectively. However, therating agency revised the outlook of Banco Múltiple Promerica's long-termrating to negative from stable, while that of Banco Múltiple BDI was maintainedat stable.

The ratingsof Banco Múltiple BDI were based on its intrinsic performance and were highlyinfluenced by a limited franchise and business model. They were also driven bythe bank's good liquidity levels, moderate profitability, good loan portfolioquality and adequate capitalization.

Meanwhile,the outlook revision for Banco Múltiple Promerica reflected the significantreduction in its operating profitability and internal capital generation due tothe foray into sectors where the bank's experience has not been tested. It alsomaintained its operational load and high provisions, Fitch said. Furthermore,the ratings took into account the reduced franchise within a concentratedbanking market, limiting its funding sources and ability to set prices, andalso considered the benefits from being a part of a larger financial group.