BRADENTON, Fla. - Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. told its financial adviser yesterday to work on a plan to defease $4.75 billion of taxable auction-rate securities following its first failed auction.

Citizens at previous auctions recently bought back about 20% of its outstanding auction-rate paper to help prevent a failed auction and to limit demands for higher interest rates by investors increasingly wary of securities wrapped by bond insurers facing potential rating downgrades, said Sharon Binnun, Citizens chief financial officer, after a conference call meeting yesterday of the corporation's finance and investment committee.

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