S&P’s Affirms Italy’s SIAT ‘BBB’ Ratings

May 29, 2003

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that, following a review, it has affirmed its ‘BBB-‘ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Italian marine insurer SIAT – Societa Italiana Assicurazioni e Riassicurazioni SpA (SIAT), and assigned them a negative outlook.

“The ratings reflect SIAT’s good business position as one of the leading Italian marine insurers, improving operating performance, and good capitalization,” stated S&P’s credit analyst Peter Grant. The rating agency indicated that, “SIAT is considered to be strategically important to its parent, Fondiaria SAI SpA (BBB-/Negative/–). However, the ongoing strategic importance of SIAT to the enlarged Fondiaria-SAI group will continue to be the subject of close scrutiny over the medium term.”

It explained the “the negative outlook on SIAT,” as reflecting “ongoing concerns surrounding the ability of SIAT’s parent to restore the capital base of the group to a level that is consistent with a rating in the ‘BBB’ range.”

S&P’s said it “expects there to be further improvements in SIAT’s operating performance (and technical profitability) in 2003, and that the company will continue to maintain its capital adequacy ratio well above 125 percent.”

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