- The Agency´s evaluation took into account the growth expectations for the streams of dividends to be received, adequate liquidity and the projected improvement with the Company´s deleveraging metrics.
- The ratings agency ratified its long-term local ("AAA") and international ("BB*") ratings, providing both with a stable outlook.
A sound investment portfolio with adequate credit quality, the prospects of an increase in the streams of dividends to be received by Grupo SURA, the projected reduction in leveraging as well as adequate liquidity, are all part of the considerations taken into account by Fitch Ratings for affirming its credit risk ratings for Grupo SURA in its ratings report released to the market on January 24, 2023.
The local long-term rating remains at "AAA" and the short-term rating at "F1+", both with a stable outlook. Likewise, the long-term international rating was confirmed at "BB+", also with a stable outlook.
"Grupo Sura's ratings reflect the credit quality of its streams of dividend income, its well-diversified sources of dividends and a track record of dividend stability," the ratings report went on to mention.
This took into account that Grupo SURA, as as investment manager, receives income in the form of dividends from its subsidiaries Suramericana and SURA Asset Management, as well as the important stakes (non-controlling) it holds in Bancolombia, Grupo Argos and Grupo Nutresa.
In its report, Fitch projects that total streams of dividends to be received this year by Grupo SURA shall surpass last year´s figure and shall even be higher than those obtained in 2019, before the pandemic.
Consequently, Fitch projects that the increase in dividends shall lower Grupo SURA's net leverage metrics towards a ratio of net debt to dividends received of 3.1X by 2023.
“ The fact that Fitch Ratings' has maintained the Company´s local and international credit ratings reflects our efforts as an investment manager to continue on a path towards reducing the Company's leverage, based on streams of dividends from an investment portfolio that offers favorable growth and value creation prospects," stated Ricardo Jaramillo, Chief Business Development and Finance Officer of Grupo SURA.
Finally, this ratings report indicated that the Company has adequate liquidity, which is backed by Grupo SURA´S stable streams of dividend income and its ability to access alternative sources of liquidity on the international and local bond and stock markets.