TEXT - Fitch rates Mapfre senior debt 'BB+'

Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:10pm EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
    Nov 19 - Fitch Ratings has assigned Mapfre SA's (Mapfre) EUR1bn senior dated
unsecured notes a 'BB+' rating. At the same time, Fitch has affirmed Mapfre's
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-' and its core operating subsidiaries'
Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating at 'BBB'. The Outlook on the ratings is
Negative. A full list of rating actions is below.

The notes were issued on 16 November 2012 and will pay a 5.125% coupon until 
maturity date in 2015. The proceeds will at least temporarily improve the 
liquidity position of Mapfre. However, the company has a bank facility maturing 
in May 2013, and Fitch believes that Mapfre could use part of the proceeds to 
repay this loan.

Fitch regards this issuance as neutral for Mapfre's current ratings. Although 
the issuance leads to an increase in financial leverage from 27% at end-2011 to 
an estimated 34% on a pro-forma basis at 9M12, Fitch believes the increase is 
temporary, on the assumption that the proceeds will be used to refinance 
maturing bank facilities.

Mapfre's credit fundamentals continue to be robust, as reflected in the group's 
solid capital adequacy (consolidated shareholders' funds totalling EUR7.8bn at 
9M12 compared with EUR7bn at end-2011) and strong underwriting performance, as 
measured by a reported combined ratio of 95.3% at 9M12.

However, Mapfre's ratings continue to be closely linked to the rating of Spain, 
given its holdings of Spanish debt and exposure to the Spanish economy. As a 
result, Fitch views Mapfre's IFS ratings as capped by Spain's Long-term IDR of 
'BBB'.

Mapfre's ratings would likely be downgraded if the Spanish sovereign rating was 
downgraded. The ratings could also be downgraded if exposure to the Spanish 
insurance market or sovereign debt resulted in underwriting or investment losses
beyond Fitch's current expectations. 

The rating actions are as follows:

Mapfre Familiar

Mapfre Global Risks Cia De Seguros Y Reaseguos

Mapfre Vida SA De Seguros Y Reaseguros

IFS affirmed at 'BBB'; Outlook Negative

Mapfre Re Compania De Reaseguros S.A

IFS affirmed at 'BBB'; Outlook Negative

Mapfre SA

Long-term IDR affirmed at 'BBB-'; Outlook Negative

EUR700m 5.91% subordinated debt due 2037 with step-up in 2017 affirmed at 'BB-' 

EUR1bn 5.125% senior unsecured debt due 2015 assigned 'BB+'

 (Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)
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