Rating agency S&P Maalot on Tuesday downgraded the Clal Insurance group because of the shaky financial state of its parent group, IDB.

Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings' debt rating was reduced from A to BBB+ and that of its subsidiary Clal Insurance was cut from AA+ to AA-.

Both companies are managed by Shy Talmon, a former government official and banker.

Maalot analysts held the credit rating of group subsidiary Clal Finance, which is BBB+. It may not stay that way too long, as Maalot's outlook for all the Clal Insurance group companies is negative.

The company at the top of the IDB group is IDB Holding Corp., under which are IDB Development Corp, Discount Investments and a host of other companies. Maalot is chiefly concerned about the weakening financial state of the top IDB group companies, which lessened Clal Insurance's degrees of financial flexibility, explains the credit rating agency. In other words, its potential access to capital is lessened.

Recently, Clal Insurance announced that Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway is buying the re-insurance company Guard, for $221 million cash, relieving Clal Insurance of $48 million in guarantees. The sale will probably be critical to Clal Insurance's capacity to meet its liabilities in 2013, Maalot surmises.