Standard & Poor's yesterday downgraded bond insurer Ambac Assurance Corp. to 'BBB' from 'A', saying it believes the company is "effectively in runoff." The rating is on negative watch.

Ambac last week announced it was postponing its efforts to start muni-only insurer Everspan Financial Guaranty Corp. The company cited difficulties raising the third-party capital it needed to achieve sufficient ratings to launch the insurer.

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