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S&P’s downgrades Friends Provident

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Friends Provident citing concerns over its concentration in difficult market sectors.

S&P’s has downgraded Friends Provident, Friends Provident Life and Pensions and F&C Asset Management’s long-term counterparty ratings.

S&P’s credit analyst Miroslav Petkov says: “The rating actions on Friends Provident and Friends Provident Life and Pensions reflect the increased business concentration under their new strategy and the increasingly difficult operating environment in the UK market segments where Friends Provident Life and Pensions operates.”

He adds: “The ratings also factor in the group’s strong capitalisation and the very strong quality of investments. These are offset by uncertainties associated with the execution of the new strategy.”

S&P’s says F&C’s credit rating is now analysed independently from Friends Provident due to the fact it is soon to be sold and so it is not expecting any further support.

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