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Fitch places European insurers on negative rating watch

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Fitch Ratings has placed a number of European insurers on ratings watch negative (RWN) after doing the same for Belgium, France and Spain last week.

Dexia Bank, KBC and Maphre, as well as a number of their subsidiaries, had their respective ratings placed on negative watch. Last week Belgium, France and Spain had their long-term issuer default ratings put on RNW as well.

Fitch said that each of the companies rely heavily on the credit situations of their countries (Dexia Bank is fully owned by the Belgium government and Maphre sources around half of its profits in Spain) so their ratings are likely to follow these.

“As a result, the RNW’s are dependent on the resolution of the RNW’s of Spain [and Belgium]’s sovereign ratings,” the ratings agency said.

Some of Fitches recent grading movements are as follows:

Belgium, Spain, France, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus – Rating Watch Negative

KBC Bank – Long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of ‘A’ placed on negative watch
Dexia Bank – Long-term IDR of ‘A+’; Outlook revised to negative from stable
Mapfre – Insurer financial strength of ‘A+’ placed on negative watch