Best Affirms Macau Insurance ‘A’ Rating

January 15, 2004

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) of Macau Insurance Company Limited and its subsidiary, Macau Life Insurance Company Limited, with a stable outlook.

“The rating reflects the company’s strong capitalization, continuous improvement in market profile, excellent operating performance and a successful bancassurance strategy in the life insurance sector,” said Best. “Macau Insurance is strongly capitalized, according to the Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), which measures capitalization on a risk-adjusted basis. The net underwriting leverage ratio, standing at 0.40 times on a net basis for its non-life portfolio in 2002, reflects the company’s adequate capital.”

The report also cited the group’s excellent operating performance, which has consistently improved over the over the past two years, its “well designed reinsurance arrangements,” and its strong market presence (it’s now the largest non-life insurer in Macau with a 16 percent market share) as positive factors.

“Offsetting factors include the decreasing solvency ratio as measured by Macau insurance regulations; strong competition in the life market; and potential volatility of its insurance and investment portfolios due to its limited size,” Best concluded.

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