Fitch Downgrades Davivienda's Banking Subs in Costa Rica & El Salvador; Removes Negative Watch

NEW YORK & SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador--()--Fitch Ratings has downgraded and removed from Rating Watch Negative Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A., Banco Davivienda Salvadoreno, S.A., and Inversiones Financieras Davivienda, S.A.. The Rating Outlooks are Stable. A complete list of rating actions follows at the end of this press release.

The rating actions follow the completion of the Colombian Banco Davivienda, S.A.'s (Davivienda) acquisition of HSBC's operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras. The acquisition agreement was announced early this year (please refer to 'Fitch Places HSBC's Bank Subsidiaries in Costa Rica and El Salvador on Rating Watch Negative', Jan. 27th, 2012 at www.fitchratings.com).

Davivienda is the new source of expected support for its Central American subsidiaries, should it be required. The recently acquired entities are considered by Fitch as Strategically Important to Davivienda, according to Fitch's Criteria: 'Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies' listed below. Such classification is based on Fitch's view on the role of those subsidiaries to foster the expansion and diversification of Davivienda in Central America, the reputational risk resulting from the shared franchise and commercial name, and the intentions of the new shareholder to promote a well-balanced business plan to the recently acquired operations in order to enhance their contribution to the consolidated business. Fitch expects that these subsidiaries will provide a recurring and meaningful share of revenues to the consolidated entity over the medium-term.

Davivienda's current Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB-' with a Stable Outlook, is lower than HSBC Holdings plc's 'AA', Negative Outlook. Davivienda's current ratings were not reviewed in this rating action as where affirmed on Jan. 27th, 2012 after the impact of the transaction was assessed by Fitch.

Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A., Banco Davivienda Salvadoreno, S.A., and Inversiones Financieras Davivienda, S.A.'s current ratings are driven by the support they would receive from Davivienda, should it be required, rather than by their intrinsic credit quality. The Stable Outlooks reflect that Fitch does not anticipate substantial changes in Davivienda's ability and propensity to support its new subsidiaries.

The Honduran bank's national ratings are unaffected as the potential support it could receive from Davivienda allows it to maintain its long-term rating at 'AA+(hnd)'.

Davivienda is the third largest bank in Colombia. It is a universal bank operating across all business segments with a particular strength in the consumer business. The bank is controlled by Sociedades Bolivar, which has interests in the construction and insurance industries in Colombia. After the completion of the aforementioned transactions, Davivienda's new operations in Central America will represent around 18% of its consolidated assets. The subsidiaries in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Honduras are locally self-funded, with large participation of retail deposits, and sufficient capital according to the regulatory guidelines in each country.

Fitch takes the following rating actions as indicated:

Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A.

--Long-term National Rating downgraded to 'AA+(cri)' from 'AAA(cri)'; Outlook Stable; removed from Watch Negative;

--Senior Unsecured Debt Long-term National Rating downgraded to 'AA+(cri)' from 'AAA(cri)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Short-term National Rating affirmed at 'F1+(cri)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative.

Banco Davivienda Salvadoreno, S.A.

--Long-term IDR downgraded to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'; Outlook Stable; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Short-term IDR downgraded to 'B' from 'F2'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Support downgraded to '3' from '2'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Long-term National Rating downgraded to 'AA+(slv)' from 'AAA(slv)'; Outlook Stable; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Senior Unsecured Debt Long-term National Rating downgraded to 'AA+(slv)' from 'AAA(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Short-term National Rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Senior Secured Debt Long-term National Rating affirmed at 'AAA(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Senior Unsecured Debt Short-term National Rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Senior Secured Debt Short-term National Rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative.

Inversiones Financieras Davivienda, S.A.

--Long-term National Rating downgraded to 'AA+(slv)' from 'AAA(slv)'; Outlook Stable; removed from Rating Watch Negative;

--Short-term National Rating affirmed at 'F1+(slv)'; removed from Rating Watch Negative.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Aug. 15, 2012);

--'National Ratings Criteria' (Jan. 19, 2011);

--'Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies' (Aug. 10, 2012).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=686181

National Ratings Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=595885

Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=679209

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst (Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A.)
Carmen Matamoros, +503 2516-6612
Associate Director
Fitch Centroamerica, S.A.
Edificio Plaza Cristal, Tercer Nivel, San Salvador, El Salvador
or
Primary Analyst (Banco Davivienda Salvadoreno, S.A.)
Diego Alcazar, +1-212-908-0396
Director
Fitch Ratings
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY - 10004
or
Primary Analyst (Inversiones Financieras Davivienda, S.A.)
Marcela Galicia, +503 2516-6616
Associate Director
Fitch Centroamerica, S.A.
Edificio Plaza Cristal, Tercer Nivel, San Salvador, El Salvador
or
Secondary Analyst
Luis Guerrero, +503 2516-6618
Associate Director
or
Committee Chairperson
Peter Shaw, +1-212-908-0553
Managing Director
or
Media Relations
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1-212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Sharing

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst (Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica), S.A.)
Carmen Matamoros, +503 2516-6612
Associate Director
Fitch Centroamerica, S.A.
Edificio Plaza Cristal, Tercer Nivel, San Salvador, El Salvador
or
Primary Analyst (Banco Davivienda Salvadoreno, S.A.)
Diego Alcazar, +1-212-908-0396
Director
Fitch Ratings
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY - 10004
or
Primary Analyst (Inversiones Financieras Davivienda, S.A.)
Marcela Galicia, +503 2516-6616
Associate Director
Fitch Centroamerica, S.A.
Edificio Plaza Cristal, Tercer Nivel, San Salvador, El Salvador
or
Secondary Analyst
Luis Guerrero, +503 2516-6618
Associate Director
or
Committee Chairperson
Peter Shaw, +1-212-908-0553
Managing Director
or
Media Relations
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1-212-908-0526
elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com