Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

AM Best Places Credit Ratings of The Guarantee Company of North America

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 20 agosto 2019

AM Best has placed under review with positive implications the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a” of The Guarantee Company of North America (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and its subsidiary, The Guarantee Company of North America USA (Southfield, MI), collectively referred to as the Guarantee Companies. These companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Princeton Holdings Limited.
The Credit Rating (rating) actions follow the announcement that Intact Financial Corporation (Intact) has entered into an agreement to acquire the Guarantee Companies from Princeton Holdings Limited. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals in the United States and Canada, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.The under review with positive implications status reflects the need for AM Best to further and fully assess the financial and operational impacts of the acquisition. In addition, the positive implications considers the successful track record that Intact has established with similar transactions in the past, and the benefits of operational synergies with Intact and its subsidiary companies. AM Best will continue to hold discussions with Intact and Guarantee Companies’ management and monitor the Guarantee Companies’ balance sheet strength, operating performance, business profile and enterprise risk management through the close of the transaction.

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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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KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings to BANK 2019-BNK19

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 luglio 2019

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) is pleased to announce the assignment of preliminary ratings to 17 classes of BANK 2019-BNK19 (see ratings list below), a $1.3 billion CMBS conduit transaction collateralized by 73 commercial mortgage loans secured by 76 properties.The collateral properties are located in 24 states, with three states, California (25.2%), New York (21.2%), and Florida (10.7%), representing more than 10% of the pool balance. The pool has exposure to most of the major property types, with three each representing 10% or more of the pool balance: office (51.2%), retail (23.6%), and lodging (10.8%). The loans have principal balances ranging from $1.3 million to $100 million for the largest loan in the pool, Grand Canal Shoppes (7.7%), which is secured by a 759,891-sf specialty retail, entertainment, and dining complex located on the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. The five largest loans, which also include Waterford Lakes Town Center (6.9%), 350 Bush Street (6.5%), 30 Hudson Yards (6.5%), and University Square (5.5%), represent 33.1% of the initial pool balance, while the top 10 loans represent 54.2%.KBRA’s analysis of the transaction incorporated our multi-borrower rating process that begins with our analysts’ evaluation of the underlying collateral properties’ financial and operating performance, which determine KBRA’s estimate of sustainable net cash flow (KNCF) and KBRA value using our U.S. CMBS Property Evaluation Methodology. On an aggregate basis, KNCF was 7.8% less than the issuer cash flow. KBRA capitalization rates were applied to each asset’s KNCF to derive values that were, on an aggregate basis, 36.3% less than third party appraisal values. The pool has an in-trust KLTV of 88.4% and an all-in KLTV of 96.4%. The model deploys rent and occupancy stresses, probability of default regressions, and loss given default calculations to determine losses for each collateral loan that are then used to assign our credit ratings.For complete details on the analysis, please see our pre-sale report published at http://www.kbra.com. The preliminary ratings are based on information known to KBRA at the time of this publication. Information received subsequent to this release could result in the assignment of ratings that differ from the preliminary ratings.

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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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Fitch Upgrades Financial Strength Ratings of Athene’s Operating Companies to ‘A’

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 2 Mag 2019

Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) announced it has upgraded the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of Athene Holding Ltd.’s (“Athene”) (NYSE: ATH) operating companies to ‘A’ (strong) from ‘A-’ (strong). At the same time, Fitch has also upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Athene Holding Ltd. to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’. Fitch’s ratings and analysis are intended to assess the level of corporate financial strength and creditworthiness. The ‘A’ financial strength rating is Fitch’s third highest rating category, reflecting high credit quality and low default risk.“This upgrade reflects our superior financial results, very strong capital position and our increasing business diversification from our multi-channel distribution platform,” said Jim Belardi, CEO of Athene. “We are proud that S&P, A.M. Best and now Fitch have all recognized Athene with ‘A’ ratings, and we look forward to additional ratings upgrades in the future. Our increasing presence in the marketplace as an A-rated company will enable us to establish new partnerships and expand our reach as a financial solutions provider to a broader market.” Fitch cited Athene’s very strong earnings and financial performance as key drivers behind the upgrade, as well as Athene’s maintenance of strong balance sheet fundamentals. The rating agency noted, “Athene’s improved business profile has been driven by expansion into adjacent product lines, expanded distribution and increased business volumes as the company has maintained its strong presence in the fixed annuity market and increasing its presence in the pension risk transfer business.”

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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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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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AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of The Education Benevolent Society Incorporated

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 gennaio 2019

AM Best has withdrawn the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” of The Education Benevolent Society Incorporated (EBS) (New Zealand) as the company has requested to no longer participate in AM Best’s interactive rating process.On December 31, 2018, EBS completed a portfolio transfer that resulted in all existing insurance obligations at the company being transferred to Union Medical Benefits Society Limited. From January 1, 2019, EBS no longer operates as an insurance company and acts as a marketing organization.AM Best’s procedure is for a final rating opinion to be produced in conjunction with a rating withdrawal. However, because EBS’ balance sheet does not contain any insurance assets or liabilities, AM Best was unable to produce a final rating opinion.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit http://www.ambest.com for more information.

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A.M. Best Assigns Credit Ratings to Acerta Compañia de Seguros, S.A.

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 1 dicembre 2018

A.M. Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” to Acerta Compañia de Seguros, S.A. (Acerta) (Panama). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.The ratings reflect Acerta’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).Acerta’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalization at the strongest level, as measured by Best´s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The ratings also reflect a well-structured reinsurance program and an experienced management team. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are Acerta´s historical volatility in underwriting results, strong competition in its main business lines and execution risk derived from its integration with Aseguradora del Istmo, S.A. (ADISA Panama), which it acquired in 2017.
Acerta initiated operations in Panama City in 2010. As of year-end 2018, the company stood as the 12th-largest insurer, with a market share of more than 1.5%. Its main business segments are surety and motor, representing 36% and 35% of its total gross written premiums respectively. Acerta operates through a network of agents, brokers and direct distribution channels. The acquisition of ADISA Panama was led in 2017 by the company´s ultimate parent, Acerta Holdings, S.A.The company´s capital and surplus has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 27% over the past five years, ultimately enhanced by the merger. Acerta’s capitalization is supported further by a reinsurance program with highly rated entities. Moreover, its capitalization and liquidity have provided the company with flexibility in order to cover historic deviations in claims.Acerta’s claims-containment adjustments within its motor and health insurance lines, coupled with synergies derived from the transaction, have led to improvements in underwriting performance, as reflected by combined ratios converging toward 100% at year-end 2018. A.M. Best expects Acerta to sustain this trend through year-end 2019, despite challenges arising from a very competitive and maturing market.Following the integration of ADISA Panama, A.M. Best expects a thorough and improved implementation of Acerta’s ERM framework in order to mitigate emerging risks that may erode the company´s balance sheet strength, operating performance or business profile.
Positive changes in the ratings or outlooks could take place if the company sustains improvements in its post-merger operating performance, coupled with a thorough implementation of its ERM framework, while maintaining risk-adjusted capitalization at strongest levels. Negative rating actions could occur if the expected operating performance deviates considerably or weakens as a result of inconsistencies within its ERM profile, affecting the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization or business profile.

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