• This credit ratings agency issued a stable outlook to the Company's rating , as a result of "healthy levels of liquidity," according to the respecting report.
  • It should be noted that Fitch Ratings maintained its local long-term rating at "AAA", the maximum possible for the Colombian market.

Medellín. July 21, 2021, Yesterday, the ratings agency, Fitch Ratings, announced that it had revised Grupo SURA's long-term international rating from "BBB-" to "BB+". This was accompanied by a stable outlook  reflecting the strength of Grupo SURA's credit profile for accessing international markets with different instruments, its well-diversified sources of dividends in terms of industries and geographies, as well as stable levels of net indebtedness in the short term.

This decision on the part of Fitch Ratings obeys a review of the average credit  quality of the Company's portfolio and the transitory effects that the pandemic has had on the stream of dividends obtained from its investments in the financial and related services industry, that is to say, Suramericana and its insurance and trend/risk management subsidiaries and SURA Asset Management with its pension, savings, investment and asset management subsidiaries. This is supplemented by its interests as the main non-controlling shareholder of Bancolombia (banking and complementary services).

Grupo SURA's Senior Management continues to focus its efforts on efficient cash flow management. The Company also maintains sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations and continue with its debt reduction plan for 2021. In fact, during the first quarter of this year, it amortized a total of COP 65,000 million and on May 18, it made a timely payment of USD 300 million on an issue of international bonds that became due and payable, as opportunely reported to the market, as the Company opportunely reported to the market, in the form of a Relevant Information release as required by the Colombian Superintendency of Finance.

According to the Fitch Ratings report, this decision took into account the recent revision of Bancolombia's long-term international rating (BB+ with stable outlook). This is a consequence of Colombia's sovereign rating having been downgraded from "BBB-” to BB+ and its effect on the country's leading bank and other financial entities.

It should be noted that this change only applies to the Company’s rating on an international scale, since Fitch Ratings maintains the same local long-term rating of "AAA", the highest possible for the Colombian market, along with a  short-term rating of "F1", according to a report released at the end of February 2021, this based on methodology that ranked Peru as its sovereign ceiling, having obtained a higher rating than Colombia.

It is worth noting that Fitch Ratings ratified the  “BBB-“ rating issued last February to SURA Asset Management (SURA AM),  given the relatively limited weight of the business in Colombia on the Company's consolidated earnings, given its role as the main private pension fund manager throughout Latin America.

Photo: Courtesy Fitch Ratings