MEDELLIN, Colombia, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Fitch Ratings announced that it has duly confirmed the international investment grade (BBB- with a stable outlook) as issued to GRUPO SURA a year ago; this after analyzing the Company's performance indicators, subsequent to the acquisitions conducted in Latin America a year ago.
The factors that led this international ratings firm to endorse its investment grade along with a stable outlook, included the Company's satisfactory debt ratios as a result of a sound combination of both debt and capital as part of the strategy devised to finance its recent acquisitions, most particularly the Latin American assets formerly belonging to the ING Group. This endorsement comes as a seal of approval for the strategic decisions that GRUPO SURA made last year, as well as the way in which it has been consolidating these new businesses so far this year. Special mention was also made of the growth potential offered by the Latin American operations overseen by SURA Asset Management (Company in charge of the pension and wealth management business of GRUPO SURA), as well as the Company's positive and ever-growing flow of dividend income.
Also, and based on the announcement made by Fitch Ratings, the rating given to GRUPO SURA underscores its credit quality, well-diversified investment portfolio and sound market position in the various sectors in which its strategic investments operate. By awarding the Company a stable outlook, Fitch Ratings acknowledged the positive perspectives going forward and the excellent projections for its investments, in terms of liquidity and capital structure, thanks to the strategy that GRUPO SURA has deployed in obtaining important partnerships in the form of a group of co-investors all of whom enjoy considerable global standing.
"We were very pleased to receive this piece of news, which we consider to be a further endorsement for the Company's strategy and its efforts to consolidate its ongoing expansion. But most important of all, perhaps, is the acknowledgement this represents of our Organization's capacity and resilience. After taking on such a large-scale endeavor in the form of last year's acquisitions, we continue to maintain a robust financial position with excellent prospects going forward, which is precisely what this international investment grade signifies", commented David Bojanini, CEO of GRUPO SURA.
In the same document, it is affirmed the AAA Colombia rating to the local bonds, in the scale of domestic ratings. This is the highest rating for a Colombian company.
After conducting the largest acquisition to take place in Latin America in 2011 and placed the largest issue of shares on the part of a privately-held company in Colombia, GRUPO SURA has ratified its sound financial position and continues to consolidate its leadership of the Latin American pension sector while remaining one of the top players in the insurance, savings and investment sectors in this same region.
About GRUPO SURA
Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana –GRUPO SURA- is a Latin American company listed on the Colombian Stock Exchange and registered with the ADR- Level 1 program in the United States. It is also listed with the Latibex Market for Latin American Stocks in Euros hosted by the Madrid Stock Exchange. We are also one of the three companies from the Latin American financial service sector to be admitted to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), which monitors companies who have become global benchmarks thanks to the good practices they have adopted from the economic, environmental and social standpoints. GRUPO SURA has two fields of investment, the first being its strategic investments in the financial services, insurance, social security as well as complementary service sectors, and the second corresponds to its portfolio investments in the food, cement and energy sectors.
Luis Eduardo Martinez
Investors Relations Director
Monica Guarin Montoya
SOURCE GRUPO SURA