JERUSALEM - Standard & Poor's Maalot unit said on Thursday it lowered its rating on bonds issued by Israel's MA Industries to AA- from AA, citing an erosion of the financial profile of the world's biggest maker of generic agrochemicals.

It said the outlook for MA Industries, also known as Makhteshim-Agan, was stable.

Lowering the rating reflects the erosion of the financial profile of Makhteshim-Agan due to weak financial results and the issuing of an aggressive dividend despite the negative trend in the company's markets, Maalot said in a statement.

The stable outlook reflects our expectations that the company's results and financial profile will improve in 2010 and that MA will not distribute a dividend until there is a significant improvement in its activities, Maalot added.

MA swung to a third-quarter loss of $17.5 million due to the global financial slowdown and deteriorating results from Brazil, where high inventories, a decrease in prices of some products and negative currency effects hit demand and profitability. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr, Editing by Greg Mahlich)