Fitch Ratings has placed the notes of the £250m Zest transaction on rating watch negative. The Zest transaction securitised an open book of pensions business for Aegon subsidiary Scottish Equitable. The new rating reflects the continued pressure on the investment and financial markets and the potential impact to this deal. The deal had been structured to allow for market deterioration but the level of buffer available will now have been eroded. Fitch may remove the rating watch negative after they have fully reviewed the transactions investment returns to date.
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