The long- and short-term issuer default ratings of Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. and its principal subsidiaries have been downgraded by Fitch Ratings, which cited increased losses and nonperforming loans in its commercial real estate loan portfolio. The company's long-term IDR was downgraded from BBB to BBB-minus, and the short-term IDR was downgraded from F2 to F3. The rating outlook is stable. The downgrades were attributed to a deterioration of asset quality "evidenced by the sharp rise and sheer volume" of nonperforming assets and loan losses. "Credit problems are generally concentrated in the land development, land hold, and construction portions of the commercial real estate loan portfolio, and largely represent loans originated by Republic Bancorp Inc., which CRBC acquired on Dec. 29, 2006," Fitch said.

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