The factors contributing to Fitch Ratings' negative outlook forthe global insurance industry are unlikely to improve enough in thenear term to allow for a revision to a stable outlook, the companyreports.

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Fitch describes the signs it will look for to signal animprovement including the strength of the economic recovery,improved capital access and financial flexibility, and greatercertainty regarding investment valuations.

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Throughout 2008, Fitch moved its rating outlooks for allsegments and regions of the global insurance industry to negative.Continued mounting instabilities in the economic and operatingenvironments have led Fitch to downgrade over 40 percent of itsrated insurance groups since fourth-quarter of last year.Additionally, more than 60 percent of Fitch's rated insuranceentities either have a negative outlook or on rating watchnegative.

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Investors and other market participants have increasingly askedwhen Fitch may revise outlooks on insurance company ratings tostable. In response, Fitch's report highlights the broad frameworkunder which market conditions and other factors would be used tomake a determination for any changes.

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From a macroeconomic perspective, Fitch believes that theimmediate economic crisis has passed with some signs ofstabilization in the market. However, Fitch also notes thatcontinued uncertainties make it unlikely that Fitch's negativeoutlook on the sector would change before the end of 2009 or eveninto 2010. Fitch notes also that some additional ratings onindividual insurers would need to be downgraded beforestabilization is appropriate.

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