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Fitch upgrades Mapfre La Centro Americana on improved loss ratio

Fitch Ratings on March 23 upgraded Mapfre La Centro Americana SA's national scale insurance financial strength rating to AA(slv) from AA-(slv), while assigning a stable outlook.

The ratings upgrade reflects improvement in the El Salvador-based insurer's loss ratio indicators, as evidenced by the company's stronger operating profitability margin, Fitch said, adding that Mapfre La Centro Americana has also shown an upward trend in written premiums and market share.

The ratings action also considers the improvement in the credit profile of Mapfre La Centro Americana's majority shareholder, Mapfre SA.

However, Fitch also believes that "the company's challenge is to register additional improvements in its claims levels and maintain controlled levels of leverage with a more conservative dividend policy."

Mapfre La Centro Americana's liquidity position remains below the industry average, due partly to a significant volume of premiums receivable, according to the rating agency.