Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘credit’

AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Westminster American Insurance Company

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 agosto 2019

AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a-” from “a” of Westminster American Insurance Company (Westminster) (Owings Mills, MD). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.The ratings reflect Westminster’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).The rating downgrades reflect the significant level of adverse loss reserve development Westminster has reported recently, which has led to a steady decline in the company’s operating performance. The adverse reserve development added 12.3 and 6.9 points, respectively, to the 2017 and 2018 combined ratios. In response, management has taken aggressive actions through a comprehensive claims audit, which has resulted in additional case reserve strengthening, specifically on liability claims, through second-quarter 2019. Going forward, the company has implemented a much more conservative approach when establishing initial loss reserves for all liability claims, which should lessen adverse reserve development. As a result, AM Best anticipates that future operating performance will remain strong as the company continues to grow and expand, but the company will not achieve past levels of performance.The stable outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that Westminster will maintain its strong balance sheet strength and operating performance, and that the recent corrective measures taken by management will meaningfully improve the company’s overall ERM effectiveness. Westminster’s overall risk-adjusted capitalization remains supportive of its strong balance sheet strength assessment, and the company continues to maintain a conservative investment portfolio. Although recent adverse reserve development has dampened Westminster’s underwriting profitability, the company has continued to achieve underwriting and pre-tax operating profits, as well as surplus growth.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of New York Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 27 luglio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A++ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “aaa” of New York Life Insurance Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation (collectively referred to as New York Life). Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IRs) on the funding agreement-backed securities (FABS) programs, the outstanding notes issued thereunder and the Long-Term IRs on the existing surplus notes of New York Life Insurance Company. The outlook of the Credit Ratings (rating) is stable. All companies are headquartered in New York, NY. (See below for a detailed listing of the Long- and Short-Term IRs.) The ratings reflect New York Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its very strong operating performance, very favorable business profile and very strong overall enterprise risk management.The ratings also reflect New York Life’s risk-adjusted capitalization, which has been sustained at the very strong level, with consistently growing absolute levels of capital, ample financial flexibility and abundant liquidity, even under extreme stress scenarios. Currently, the company’s reserve profile still remains slightly weighted toward annuity products, which are exposed to the continued low interest rate environment. However, this reserve profile is driven partially by the reserving dynamics between life insurance and annuity products, which generate higher reserves for the annuity products in the earlier years. While AM Best believes that New York Life’s investment management capabilities remain strong, the potential still exists for higher-than-normal credit losses, albeit manageable, within New York Life’s general account investment portfolio. The organization’s investment portfolio is considered well-diversified with allocations that follow a consistent, long-term approach, as well as a material allocation to highly rated corporate fixed-income securities. AM Best notes that New York Life has a sizeable allocation to non-traditional assets, namely investments in private equity and hedge funds that together represent approximately 21% of total capital.New York Life’s current adjusted GAAP financial leverage, excluding accumulated other comprehensive income, together with secured and non-recourse debt, continues to be well within AM Best’s guidelines for the company’s current ratings. In addition, GAAP interest coverage is very strong. AM Best also holds a favorable view of New York Life’s proactive management approach to interest-rate risk through ongoing hedging, product design, dynamic asset rebalancing and disciplined sales. Finally, AM Best notes that New York Life has an added measure of financial flexibility in support of its very strong risk-adjusted capital position through the management of its policyholder dividend scale.The consistent and very strong operating performance is attributed to sales growth generated from its traditional ordinary life insurance business, providing long-term cash flows as the foundation. The majority of new annuity sales include market-value adjustment features that reduce interest-rate risk; however, some vulnerability to spread compression exists should the low interest rate environment persist. Overall earnings are derived from diverse sources and have increased primarily because of favorable mortality experience with overall positive business growth. New York Life’s investment operations provide further earnings diversification, reflective of the organization’s strong spread revenue and asset-based fees that are generated from the $572 billion of assets under management as of year-end 2018.

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IHS Markit Selected to Deliver Canada’s Federal Carbon Credit and Tracking Solution

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 24 luglio 2019

IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions, today announced it will deliver the Government of Canada’s Carbon Credit and Tracking Solution. The solution will reinforce Canada’s federal measures to mitigate emissions under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and provide tracking for the federal Output-Based Pricing System. “Canada is committed to reducing its carbon emissions across industries, while creating incentives for firms to embrace clean energy and growth,” said Kathy Benini, managing director and global head of Environmental Solutions at IHS Markit. “By leveraging our experience and knowledge in designing and delivering national and international registries, Canada will have a best-in-class solution for the federal carbon pricing backstop.”The federal Output-Based Pricing System is designed to ensure there is a price incentive for industrial emitters to reduce emissions, spur innovation, maintain competitiveness and eliminate carbon leakage. Using the infrastructure provided by IHS Markit, Canada will be able to support these objectives.IHS Markit has designed and developed greenhouse gas registries and auction infrastructure for governments in the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Its Environmental Registry is the largest global registry for carbon, water and biodiversity credits. Since its inception, the Environmental Registry has provided full tracking for the lifecycle of more than 350 million credits.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Lloyd’s

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of Lloyd’s (United Kingdom), Lloyd’s Insurance Company (China) Limited (Lloyd’s China) (China) and Lloyd’s Insurance Company S.A. (Lloyd’s Brussels) (Belgium). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” of Society of Lloyd’s (the Society) (United Kingdom) and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings of “a-” on the GBP 500 million 4.750% subordinated loan notes maturing 30 October 2024 and on the GBP 300 million 4.875% subordinated notes maturing 7 February 2047. The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.The ratings reflect Lloyd’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.The Lloyd’s market benefits from its risk-adjusted capitalisation being at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Capital adequacy is supported by a robust risk-based approach to setting member-level capital and a strong Central Fund, which is available to meet the policyholder obligations of all Lloyd’s members. AM Best’s assessment of the balance sheet strength of Lloyd’s takes into account the fungibility constraints of capital held at the member level and the market’s good financial flexibility, which is enhanced by the diversity of its capital providers.
The favourable business profile assessment reflects the strong position of Lloyd’s in its core markets, as a leading writer of reinsurance and specialty property and casualty insurance. Lloyd’s has an excellent brand in these markets but an increasingly difficult operating environment poses challenges to Lloyd’s competitive position. The market’s business mix is well-diversified but with some geographical bias toward North America and product bias towards moderate to high-risk commercial specialty lines products.
The ratings of Lloyd’s China and Lloyd’s Brussels reflect reinsurance support from Lloyd’s in the form of quota share contracts between Lloyd’s and the syndicates participating on the China and Brussels platforms.The rating of the Society is notched from the rating of the Lloyd’s market, reflecting the unique relationship between the Society and the Lloyd’s market, which means that the ability of the Society to meet its obligations is inextricably linked to the ability of Lloyd’s to meet its obligations.

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Stable credit market as property companies’ shares reach new high

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 5 luglio 2019

In the July issue of CREDI, the Main index increases from 50.3 to 50.8 indicating a slightly improved credit market. Property companies maintain a positive view of the credit market, while banks are increasingly pessimistic about the future.“This year’s second CREDI survey reflects a stable credit market, where improved access to credit and extended credit durations counteract expectations of higher credit margins. The CREDI Main index is boosted in particular by an improved perception of the current situation among banks. However, banks are increasingly pessimistic going forward as their Expectations index falls to its second-lowest point in the history of CREDI. Furthermore, the average interest rate of listed property companies increased slightly to 2.0 per cent, marking the end of the trend of decreasing interest rates that lasted for 21 quarters,” says Martin Malhotra, Project Manager at Catella.“The equity market has rebound strongly this year, with the total return of the Stockholm OMX 30 index being nearly 20 per cent. The main driver has been the U-turns of the major central banks and the expectation that we will see lower interest rates and more quantitative easing from the central banks going forward. The Swedish equity market is a reasonably good leading indicator of the CREDI Main index, and its development suggests that we will see stable credit sentiments during the coming quarters,” says Arvid Lindqvist, Head of Research at Catella.“The reduction in long-term interest rates has also been reflected in property companies’ preference shares, where the average dividend has fallen to 6.1 per cent since the turn of the year. Also, as the volume-growth of outstanding bonds continues to slow down, the bond market’s share of the listed property companies’ debt has remained at 28 per cent,” Martin Malhotra concludes.The Catella Real Estate Debt Indicator (CREDI) is attached and can also be downloaded from catella.com/en/news-and-pressreleases/research. CREDI consists of two parts: one is an index based on a survey of listed property companies and active banks, and the other a set of indices and analyses based on publicly available data.

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Global Credit Specialist CIFC Completes Initial UK Research Team Hires

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 luglio 2019

Global credit specialist CIFC, which launched a European office in London last year, has completed the first phase of its UK research team recruitment with the appointment of its fourth analyst.Senior Analyst Rinse Terpstra has joined from Chenavari Investment Managers where he worked as a senior investment analyst focusing on CLOs. He has more than 12 years of leveraged loan and high yield credit experience in Western and Central Eastern Europe as well as Turkey.Analyst Zoltan Paller has joined from UBS where he focused on leveraged finance and direct lending opportunities in the EMEA region. Prior to UBS, he held positions in the Corporate Credit team of Morgan Stanley in Budapest and Fitch in London.
Analyst Max Elliott-Taylor has joined from Investcorp Credit Management in London where he was an associate in the credit research team investing in leveraged loans and high yield bonds for five years.Analyst Alessandro Garello Cantoni has joined from Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he worked for five years focusing on Italian and Iberian markets and later leveraged finance origination in the EMEA region.Their hires follow the recruitment last year of Managing Directors Joshua Hughes and Dan Robinson to open the London office and start building out the team.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings for La Colonial, S.A. Compañía de Seguros

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 27 giugno 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of La Colonial, S.A. Compañía de Seguros (La Colonial) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains positive.The ratings reflect La Colonial’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.The positive outlooks recognize the improvements made by La Colonial in terms of operating performance and acknowledge the skills of the underwriting team to face the potential challenges of harsher competition during 2019. The ratings also reflect the company’s robust risk-adjusted capitalization, supported by a strong reinsurance program. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the competitive environment in the Dominican Republic.La Colonial is the fifth-largest insurance company in the Dominican Republic, with a 7.3% market share as of April 2019, maintaining a leading position in the Dominican Republic despite changing market dynamics, including the continuous inflow of new health premiums to the system from new competitors. The company has posted adequate profitability and growth to support its results. The company operates as a multiline insurer, and its portfolio is composed of 80% property/casualty, 16% accidents and health and 4% life, based on gross written premium.In 2018, the company continued its improved combined ratio to levels below 100% because of higher retention and a continuation of expense efficiency. A key year for the resolution of the positive outlooks is 2019, as the company needs to consolidate the improvements achieved in terms of operating performance amidst increased competition in key segments like auto and fire. In this regard, AM Best considers La Colonial’s management team to be well-prepared to manage such competition and to maintain a cost-efficient operation.
La Colonial’s risk-adjusted capitalization remains strong and is supported adequately by a comprehensive reinsurance program that mitigates the potential impact from regional natural disasters on the company’s results. These characteristics are well-reflected in its solvency and capitalization metrics, and its excellent market position. Looking forward, AM Best expects the company to continue performing with premium sufficiency driven by lower technical costs in the medium term, to achieve higher ratings.Positive rating actions could occur if La Colonial continues to improve its underwriting performance, by achieving greater efficiency and consolidating its positive trend in operating performance, while at the same time, strengthening its capital base through increased profitability. Factors that might lead to negative rating actions include deterioration of its technical income, by either higher operational costs or a decline in the underwriting quality that places more emphasis on financial income to sustain profitability. Any major changes in La Colonial’s capital base, including significant dividends or capital outflows, that diminish AM Best’s view of the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization also could result in negative rating actions.

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AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of Lloyd’s Syndicate 510

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 16 giugno 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of Lloyd’s Syndicate 510 (Syndicate 510) (United Kingdom), which is managed by Tokio Marine Kiln Syndicates Limited (TMKS). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn the ratings as the syndicate has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.The Lloyd’s market rating is the floor for all syndicate ratings, reflecting the Lloyd’s chain of security and, in particular, the role of the Central Fund, which partially mutualises capital at the market level. The ratings of Syndicate 510 reflect the balance sheet strength of the Lloyd’s market, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as the market’s strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.For the 2019 year of account, the syndicate’s capacity was maintained at GBP 1.1billion. Approximately 56% of Syndicate 510’s capital is provided by Tokio Marine Underwriting Limited, the ultimate parent of which is Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. The remainder of the capital is provided by third party Lloyd’s members.The syndicate’s recent technical performance has been broadly in line with the overall Lloyd’s market, demonstrated by a five-year weighted average combined ratio of 98% (2014-2018). In 2018, Syndicate 510 recorded a combined ratio of 103%, affected by catastrophe losses in North America. The impact from catastrophe losses was in line with AM Best’s expectations given the size and frequency of catastrophe events during the year.
The business profile of all syndicates is linked inextricably to that of Lloyd’s, which has a strong position in the global general insurance and reinsurance markets. The collective size of the Lloyd’s market allows Syndicate 510 to compete under the Lloyd’s brand with international groups. Syndicate 510 is one of the largest syndicates at Lloyd’s, ranking seventh based on 2018 gross written premiums. It writes a diversified portfolio by geography and line of business comprising property and special lines, marine and special risks, enterprise risk, accident and health, reinsurance and aviation.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Unum Group and Its Core U.S. Subsidiaries

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 giugno 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of the core U.S. life/health insurance subsidiaries of Unum Group (Unum) (headquartered in Chattanooga, TN) [NYSE: UNM]. Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a-” of Unum Insurance Company (Unum Insurance) (Portland, ME) and Starmount Life Insurance Company (Starmount) (Portland, ME). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bbb” and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of Unum. The outlook of the Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings of the core U.S. life/health insurance subsidiaries of Unum reflect their balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as their strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.Unum’s strong balance sheet strength is supported through the organization’s continued profitability and quality investment portfolio. Unum continues to report strong operating results from its core ongoing insurance operations. Premium growth has been steady over the past five years, averaging about 4%. Loss ratios and persistency have been relatively stable, which has driven the organization’s steady operating earnings. Nevertheless, the company did have a reserve charge for its legacy long-term care (LTC) business during the third quarter of 2018. This charge had a material impact on the consolidated GAAP results for the year; however, the company still reported good results, with net income of more than $500 million for the year. The steady earnings stream produced by Unum’s core businesses somewhat mitigates the potential of adverse financial impact from the closed LTC business in the future.AM Best views Unum’s asset quality as good as investments are held mainly in investment grade fixed income securities. However, the company does have modest exposure to below investment grade bonds and commercial mortgage loans. Unum’s investment income has been relatively stable with modest impairments. The insurance operation’s liquidity is mainly supported by favorable operating cash flows. Additional financial flexibility is derived from holding company cash and investments, a $600 million revolving credit facility and access to Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings. Unum has manageable financial leverage of approximately 24% as of the first quarter of 2019. Interest coverage was just five times in 2018, lower than the high single-digit levels the company historically has reported. Unum’s new debt issue is not anticipated to materially increase the organization’s financial leverage on a long-term basis.Unum maintains a leading market positions in the majority of its core product lines with a diverse nationwide distribution network. Additionally, the company continues to diversify its earnings stream with new product offerings and through growth in its dental and international businesses, which helps to deepen penetration and aid with client persistency. Unum’s enterprise risk management program is well-developed and incorporated into strategy and financial planning for the organization.

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AM Best Places Credit Ratings of CMIC Group’s Members Under Review With Negative Implications

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 9 giugno 2019

AM Best has placed under review with negative implications the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a-” of Connecticut Medical Insurance Company (Glastonbury, CT) and its sponsored risk retention group company, CMIC Risk Retention Group (District of Columbia). These companies are referred to collectively as CMIC Group (the group).The under review status considers several strategic initiatives that management plans to execute during the third quarter of 2019 and the benefits these are expected to have on the group’s prospective operating results. These initiatives, combined with corrective underwriting actions introduced by management in the prior year, are expected to improve the group’s operating performance, which has suffered in recent years due to increased claims severity, diminishing reserve redundancies, and a declining premium base. AM Best views these initiatives being taken in the upcoming quarter as material and therefore, failure to execute on these plans is likely to result in negative ratings pressure, hence the negative rating implications. The ratings will remain under review pending further discussions with management and, more importantly, the execution of these new initiatives.

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Future of business: Marketing transformation e Credit revolution

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 maggio 2019

Milano 6 giugno 2019 al Megawatt (via Watt 15), in collaborazione con IAB Italia e ACMI (Associazione Credit Manager Italia) si snoderà la seconda edizione di Cerved Next, l’appuntamento italiano dedicato alla cultura data-driven e alla digital transformation. che quest’anno Cerved.
Un’occasione per contribuire a immaginare il futuro costruito sui dati, una giornata in cui gli ospiti – imprenditori e business decision makers di ogni settore, appartenenti a grandi imprese così come a PMI, a micro aziende e startup, a banche e istituzioni finanziarie, a pubbliche amministrazioni – potranno scegliere tra lasciarsi ispirare da keynote speaker di fama internazionale, ascoltare interventi di esperti su casi di successo, partecipare a tavole rotonde, seguire sessioni demo, fare networking o lavorare negli spazi di co-working.L’agenda della giornata è molto ricca e affronterà tre temi chiave dell’economia, su cui dati e tecnologie impatteranno sempre di più. Il primo è quello del “Future of business”, in cui si parlerà dei mega trend e di tutto ciò che è intelligenza artificiale, trust economy, big data, blockchain, data visualization, digital transformation impact; il secondo riguarda invece la “Marketing transformation”, dunque vi troveranno spazio programmatic advertising, Seo e Cro, web analytics, customer journey transformation, growth hacking, human-based marketing; infine, la “Credit revolution”, dunque PDS2, open banking, alternative lending, fintech,, intelligenza artificiale applicata al credito, gestione efficace dei crediti in bonis, UTP e NPL.
Alla prima edizione hanno preso parte imprese di ogni dimensione, provenienza geografica e settore: da ICT e telco (24%) a banche e assicurazioni (15%), dal commercio (16%) alla consulenza (9%). Tra il pubblico, il 23% erano top manager, il 10% advisor o liberi professionisti ed erano rappresentate tutte le funzioni aziendali: 20% sales e business development, 18% marketing e comunicazione, 12% amministrazione, finanza e controllo, 17% digital e IT.
Tra gli speaker attesi a Cerved Next: Geoff Mulgan, CEO di Nesta; César Hidalgo, professore associato al MIT e guida del Collective Learning Group del MIT Media Lab; Peter Sondergaard, fondatore ed Executive Advisor di The Sondergaard Group; Cristina Pozzi, co-fondatrice e CEO di Impactschool; Darya Majidi, imprenditrice tecnologica, fondatrice e CEO di Daxo Group; Nicola Palmarini, Program Manager, AI Ethics Lead e Aging & Longevity Lead di MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab a Cambridge, Augusto Fazioli, Business angel IAG, consultant Singularity University & Partner Bip – Business Integration Partners.
L’evento è organizzato insieme a un parterre selezionato di partner, protagonisti del mondo della trasformazione digitale data-driven – Gruppo TIM, Bip – Business Integration Partners, Credimi, Nexi, Experian, Claranet partner AWS, Fincons, Generali, Neo4J, Relabora, Sourcesense – e a numerose associazioni, ACMI, AICS, Angaisa, Assosport, Assirm, Assolombarda, Fintech District, IAB Italia, Unione Industriale di Torino.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Sura Re Ltd.

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 26 aprile 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” of Sura Re Ltd. (Sura Re) (Bermuda). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.The ratings reflect Sura Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).Sura Re is the wholly owned start-up captive reinsurer of Suramericana S.A. (Sura), which in turn is 81.13% owned by Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana S.A. The company was established in Bermuda as a Class 3A insurer in December 2015. Its main purpose is to participate in property business underwritten by Sura’s affiliates across Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, México, Panamá, Dominican Republic and Uruguay). AM Best recognizes the strategic role that Sura Re aims to achieve in Sura’s overall regional strategy; however, Sura Re’s business profile is considered limited given its accessibility to markets when compared with other commercial reinsurers.
AM Best categorizes the company’s balance sheet strength as very strong, as risk-adjusted capitalization is more than adequate for the risks it holds. Its capital base was further strengthen by a USD 10 million capital contribution during 2018; no dividend payments are expected in the medium term. Asset-liability management follows a very conservative investment policy focused on maintaining liquidity to cover its obligations in terms of tenure and currencies. Additionally, ERM is considered appropriate as it is completely supported by Sura’s expertise and management team.As of December 2018, operating performance still reflects a strong dependence on investment income to cover administrative expenses. As the strategy of the company continues to evolve, AM Best expects technical income to be able to cover these expenses and produce positive net income. When compared with other start-ups and commercial reinsurers, the captive nature of the company guarantees it a portion of well-underwritten risks by its affiliated companies. This provides flexibility in terms of growth and premium risk to efficiently manage its capital and return positions in the future. AM Best therefore considers operating performance to be adequate for the current ratings.Positive rating actions could take place in the medium term if Sura Re is able to achieve its targeted geographic premium distribution with good quality underwriting coupled with a very strong balance sheet assessment. Negative rating actions could take place if the company’s financial performance falls to a level that affects capital and therefore its risk-adjusted capitalization.AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit http://www.ambest.com/captive.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Instituto Nacional de Seguros

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 aprile 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) (San Jose, Costa Rica). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains positive.The ratings reflect INS’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The positive outlook was maintained due to the still favorable operating performance metrics posted in 2018.INS’ capitalization level of strongest is supported by a comprehensive and adequate reinsurance program, good operating performance and its position as the leading insurer in Costa Rica. The assessment of its business profile considers INS’ market characteristics derived from the country’s Insurance Law of 2008, including its robust market share and the guarantee provided by the Costa Rican government to support INS’ domestic obligations.
INS is Costa Rica’s largest insurer with a market share of 72% as of December 2018, which has decreased due to aggressive growth in voluntary products from specific market participants. The company has exclusivity on underwriting compulsory workers’ compensation and mandatory auto insurance. INS’ compulsory premium segment represents 34% of its business portfolio and 25% of the industry’s total premiums written.The positive outlooks on INS’ ratings reflect the still strong operating performance metrics posted in 2018, despite its deterioration in comparison with 2017 as shown in a larger loss and combined ratio. As of December 2018, INS’ business slowed as economic activity grew less than in previous years; this led to a deterioration of the company’s underwriting metrics compared with 2017, nevertheless, these results remained strong and produced positive net income. The resolution of the positive outlook will depend on the operating performance results during 2019; if these deteriorate further, the positive outlook could revert to stable.Investment income, based on a conservative investment portfolio, has remained supportive of the company’s performance, favored by interest rates and foreign exchange rates. Net income stood at USD 89.5 million, providing a solid growth for its capital base, despite the compulsory 25% dividend paid to the government and a larger reserve creation derived from the favorable performance of the compulsory workers’ compensation segment.AM Best expects INS to continue improving and consolidating its business guidelines by implementing its geographical diversification strategy progressively, which should offset increased competition in the voluntary segments. The company is in a good position to maintain its strong risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, due to its good profitability and ERM practices, and adequate reinsurance with highly rated international reinsurers, which provides a buffer for variations in claim severity and catastrophic events.Positive rating movements could occur if INS is able to improve or maintain its underwriting performance and operating efficiency while continuing to pursue further diversification of its revenue, improving its return metrics and maintaining its strong capitalization. Negative rating actions could occur if technical results deteriorate or there is a reduction in net income, or any loss that significantly affects the company’s profitability and capital generation.

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Credit market improves as optimism rises among property companies

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 3 aprile 2019

In the March issue of CREDI the Main index increases from 48.6 to 50.3, indicating a slightly improved credit market. Property companies maintain a positive view of the credit market as interest rates fall to a new record low. “This year’s first CREDI survey shows a positive shift in the credit market, where improved access to credit and extended credit durations counteract slightly higher credit margins. The CREDI Main index is boosted in particular by increased optimism among property companies. In fact, the property companies’ Expectation index is at its highest level in nearly four years. Furthermore, the average interest rate of listed property companies continues to fall, hitting a new record low of 1.9 per cent,” says Martin Malhotra, Project Manager at Catella.“The stock market has rebound during the first quarter of 2019, with OMX 30 up 12 percent. This is mainly a result of more dovish central banks, which have responded to weakening growth in the United States and the rest of the world. Going forward, property companies in Sweden should be able to enjoy continued low real interest rates for an extended period of time,” says Arvid Lindqvist, Head of Research at Catella.“The reduced long interest has also been reflected in property companies’ preference shares, where the average dividend has fallen to 6 per cent since the turn of the year. Also, the limited growth of outstanding bonds means the bond market’s share of the listed property companies’ debt has levelled out,” Martin Malhotra concludes.The twenty-sixth edition of the Catella Real Estate Debt Indicator (CREDI) is attached and can also be downloaded from catella.com/en/news-and-pressreleases/research. CREDI consists of two parts: one is an index based on a survey of listed property companies and active banks, and the other a set of indices and analyses based on publicly available data.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Qatar Islamic Insurance Company Q.P.S.C.

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 1 aprile 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb+” of Qatar Islamic Insurance Company Q.P.S.C. (QIIC) (Qatar). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings reflect QIIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
QIIC adopts a hybrid takaful model, whereby the shareholders’ fund charges the policyholders’ fund (PHF) a Wakala fee based on gross written contributions (GWC) and a Mudaraba fee based on investment income. QIIC’s ability to accumulate surpluses within the PHF, whilst regularly distributing surplus back to policyholders, supports the sustainability of the takaful model.QIIC’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation, which, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is consistent with the strongest assessment. The balance sheet strength assessment also benefits from high levels of liquidity to sustain its insurance operations and a well-rated reinsurance panel. AM Best expects prospective risk-adjusted capitalisation to benefit from good internal capital generation.QIIC’s balance sheet strength, however, is offset by its unsophisticated approach to reserving and high-risk investment strategy. QIIC is exposed significantly to illiquid assets in the form of real estate and associate investments, accounting for approximately 55% of total investments as at year-end 2018. Despite exposing the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation to significant volatility, capital buffers provide some cushion against potential investment losses.QIIC has a track record of strong operating and technical profitability, highlighted by a five-year average (2014-2018) combined ratio of 77.2% that has remained very stable over recent years. Whilst generally there has been a good balance of earnings between technical and investment income, a volatile investment environment in Qatar has meant investment returns have declined over the past five years. In 2018, the company reported net profit of QAR 63 million, equivalent to a healthy return on equity of 12.9%.Although the company is concentrated to its domestic market of Qatar, QIIC maintains a niche market position as an established provider of Shari’a-compliant products and a strong reputation that is attributable partially to the company’s track record of distributing surpluses back to its policyholders. Moreover, the company benefits from being a member of the National Insurance Consortium, which provides QIIC access to sizable government infrastructure contracts. QIIC reported strong premium growth in 2018, with a 21% increase in GWC to QAR 382 million, compared with 2017. Whilst QIIC’s ERM framework is considered appropriate, AM Best has concerns over the company’s approach to managing its investments operations, especially given the size of illiquid assets relative to its capital.

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AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 marzo 2019

AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to C+ (Marginal) from C++ (Marginal) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “b-” from “b+” of Atlanta Life Insurance Company (ALIC) (Atlanta, GA). The outlook of the FSR has been revised to negative from stable while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR remains negative. ALIC is the life insurance member of Atlanta Life Financial Group, Inc. (ALFG) and is the only remaining active entity within the group.The ratings reflect ALIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its weak operating performance, very limited business profile and weak enterprise risk management.The rating downgrades reflect ALIC’s significant operating losses in 2017 and 2018 despite a onetime favorable benefit due to the merger of the company’s two retirement plans, which removed the pension liability from ALIC’s financial statements once the plans were combined. Despite the plan merger, ALIC still remained liable in the unlikely event that the plans assets were insufficient to fund its liabilities. On a normalized basis, excluding the onetime pension gain and a onetime write-off of a reinsurance contract, operating losses reflect high expenses, unfavorable investment yields and the impact of a contracting balance sheet. The write-off of the reinsurance contract, although modest in terms of operating results, is reflected in AM Best’s ERM assessment of weak given the lack of an adequate risk-control framework, which must be addressed going forward by the new chief financial officer and chief executive officer.Despite the company retaining a favorable risk-adjusted capital position, the overall balance sheet assessment continues to be stressed by a low level of absolute capital as the result of a write-off of an inter-company receivable from ALFG, a lack of liquidity, high reinsurance leverage and unfavorable cash-flow testing results. While the balance sheet assessment remains adequate and within AM Best’s prior expectations, the company’s operating cash flows are negative and AM Best anticipates that if the company’s ambitious business plans are not realized, future risk-adjusted capitalization levels likely will continue to decline over time given the expense structure of the company. Management has laid out substantial business development plans with a focus on assuming group life insurance business from new and existing carrier relationships, which promotes its marketing advantage as an African-American reinsurance carrier. AM Best notes that projected premium levels substantially exceed historical norms and will be a challenge to achieve. As a result, ALIC’s business profile assessment remains very limited with a noted lack of historical data quality, virtually no new business growth, limited market share and limited product diversification.

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Tugu Insurance Company Limited

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 4 marzo 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” of Tugu Insurance Company Limited (TIC) (Hong Kong). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative.The ratings reflect TIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management. The company’s strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is supported by its low underwriting leverage. Offsetting factors are the company’s high asset concentration and low on-balance-sheet liquidity. These factors resulted from the company’s high asset concentration in a small number of invested properties, which accounted for half of total assets at the end of 2018. TIC is a small non-life insurer in Hong Kong. Premium volume has declined sharply over the past five years as the company discontinued some unprofitable business in Hong Kong and increased its reinsurance cession. As a result of having a small net premium base, the high expense ratios increased over the same period. In 2018, TIC reported an underwriting profit mainly contributed by a reserve release. AM Best believes that a similar scale of reserve release is unlikely to repeat year-over-year, so the operating profitability will remain dependent on investment income.The company applies basic tools in risk management, such as investment and underwriting guidelines. Nevertheless, capabilities are lacking in areas such as underwriting, strategy and reserving, the last of which has a track record of volatility. The negative outlooks are based primarily on uncertainty regarding TIC’s capitalization and business profile. It also reflects the company’s low liquidity buffers.
Positive rating actions are unlikely in the near term. Negative rating actions could occur if there is a material decline in the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization and liquidity position, or if the company’s business volume shrinks materially.

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2-Day Course on Credit Risk Management

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 16 febbraio 2019

The objective of this course is to give participants an overview of the end to end approach to credit analysis from origination through to documentation signing.By attending this practical 2-day course, you will gain the skills to analyse the specific risks applicable to an individual business, and how to establish tools and methods to protect the lender’s position against those risks. You will also gain the ability to develop a strategy to effectively monitor transactions to capture early warning signals of credit quality deterioration.Through a wide variety of case studies and exercises, from a number of industries and geographical locations you will reinforce the major learning outcomes. The course is highly practical and participants will be encouraged to share their experiences through exercises and group discussions.

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Launch of a Nonbank Consumer Credit Card Through One of the Credit Card Companies

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 febbraio 2019

Partner Communications Company Ltd. (“Partner” or “the Company”) (NASDAQ and TASE: PTNR), a leading Israeli communications operator, announces that further to the Company’s reports with respect to the examination of new potential growth engines, among others, in the fintech and finance industries and as part of its preparation for entry into the financial services sector, Partner published today an invitation to receive offers from credit card companies for the provision of services and the establishment of a customer club offering a range of financial products based on nonbank credit card.In the invitation sent to the credit companies operating in Israel, Partner seeks to receive offers for the provision of services from one credit card company, noting that the customer club will be based on an infrastructure of an international credit card company (Visa or MasterCard) and/or an international private label (American Express or Diners).This step is the first in a series of steps that the Company is working on as part of its activity formed under the name Partner Finance.Mr. Isaac Benbenisti, CEO of Partner noted: “The expansion of Partner’s activity into the financial sector is a first for a communications company in Israel. We are starting today a significant journey and just as we knew how to initiate a change in the multi-channel television market and in the area of internet services over fiber optic infrastructure, I am certain that we will be able to expand the competition in the financial sector and bring real value to customers and investors.This operation, as part of the formed operation Partner Finance, will benefit from the advanced technological capabilities of the Partner Group, using the development resources and know-how of our Information Technology division. After an in-depth process that included the examination of similar models in the world and working with start-up companies active in the field of fintech, we are now beginning the next stage of our entry into the finance world.”

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Hong Leong Insurance (Asia) Limited

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 13 gennaio 2019

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Hong Leong Insurance (Asia) Limited (HLIA) (Hong Kong). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings reflect HLIA’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.HLIA’s very strong balance sheet assessment mainly reflects its capital size and low underwriting leverage. Given the volume of risks that the company writes and retains, the capital required to support its book of business is relatively modest, which supports its risk-adjusted capitalization being at the strongest level.Both underwriting and investment results have been consistently positive, contributing to combined ratios of under 80% and operating ratios of below 70% over the past three years. The strong and consistent underwriting results are attributable mainly to the company being very selective in the type of business it chooses to underwrite and retain. For instance, in recent years, it has reduced its exposure to workers’ compensation and continued to stay away from highly competitive product lines, such as motor insurance.HLIA has good market positions in some niche segments within its domestic insurance market, primarily in travel insurance and domestic helper insurance. In addition, a significant portion of the company’s new business is now sourced from direct marketing and the company’s online portal, both of which contribute to its lower commission cost structure. Nevertheless, HLIA’s small market share and narrow product offerings have constrained its business profile assessment.The stable outlooks reflect AM Best’s expectation that HLIA will maintain underwriting results that outperform the industry composite, supported by steady revenue growth, a low acquisition cost structure and favorable claims experience for its core product lines.Downward rating pressure could result if there is significant deterioration in its risk-adjusted capitalization or financial performance. Additionally, the ratings may be downgraded if there is material deterioration in the credit profile of HLIA’s parent company, Hong Leong Financial Group Berhad.

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